Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Turkey Economic Council held at TOBB with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

21.01.2019 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech at the TOBB Turkey Economic Council's opening held at the Twin TOBB Towers with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and various ministers, stated that a bold and new investment move would bring Turkey to the fore in global competition. Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “This wheel will get over this bump. Allah willing, we will continue on our path. Together, we will move Turkey towards rapid growth.”​

The Turkey Economy Council hosted by TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vice President Fuat Oktay; Family, Labor and Social Services Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Dönmez, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Minister of National Education Ziya Selçuk, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli as well as Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan. The meeting was held at the TOBB Twin Towers Conference Hall with the participation of Chamber Presidents, Presidents of OIZs and many business people. Representatives of the business community had the opportunity to share their problems and solution proposals with President Erdoğan and the Ministers.

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech, expressed his gratitude to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for standing by the business community since the first Turkey Economy Council in 2003 and his support for the business world.

Stating that the business world broke records in employment and investment in 2017, Hisarcıklıoğlu underlined that they are ready to do the same in 2019. Hisarcıklıoğlu, who asked Erdoğan to continue his support for the private sector, said, “Presidents of Chambers and Commodity Exchange Presidents from 81 provinces and 160 counties who are opinion leaders are present in this hall. They have been working busily since July. They collected the problems of their provinces and counties and prepared recommendations. They have identified all the economic difficulties in their local areas, thus the country as a whole. Thank you for your work. We classify these on the provincial level and in regards to the relevant ministries. After the Council, we will relay them all to you and to each of the relevant public institutions.”

- Morale for the business world

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The biggest incentive for the business is to see the government stand by it. We believe that under your leadership, in every issue we bring to the agenda, will be addressed as it has always been. We have seen examples of this the past months.

With the increase of short working allowance and minimum wage support, you have reduced the burden on our companies.

In order to support the domestic market, you have made VAT and SCT reductions in 4 sectors. Due to the high interest rate of the banks, you offered loans to SMEs at a rate of 1.54% per month. You have provided the removal of a serious burden such as the pasture fund. You have recognized the right to liquidate and transfer to public contractors. You have launched state-funded commercial receivables insurance, which we have been asking for many years, which will bring great convenience to commercial life. The project which will ensure public-private sector cooperation through vocational high schools in 81 cities will be implemented. I would like to thank the ministers with us again for their efforts to this end.”

Stating that, according to the World Bank's Doing Business Report, Turkey is among the top 10 countries with the most reforms implemented in 2018, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that, in regards to the business and investment climate, Turkey has moved up 17 places from 60th ranking to 43rd, placing the highest yet in its history.

- Consultation with banks

Under the leadership of President Erdoğan, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated good news of the government's steps supporting employment, trade and industry have graced every sector with increased the morale and enthusiasm for the business world.

“In the last 3 months, TOBB has achieved another first. Together with the banks we traveled all over Anatolia.

We convened with traders and industrialists from 81 provinces. We saw that the biggest problem of SMEs is the shortage of cash. There is great difficulty in accessing finance. High credit interest rates are plaguing the real sector. We are bereft of the fruits of our labor. We cannot invest, nor can we increase our business volume. In this environment, your sensitivity and fight against high interest is giving us strength and morale. We have given you the first and most concrete contribution to your call on this subject. TOBB, Chambers and Commodity Exchanges have pooled all of their resources. To date, we have provided Respite Credits to our SMEs with the lowest interest rate applied to commercial loans in our country. About 100,000 SMEs have utilized approximately 12 billion TRY in low-interest loans. In your words, we have made an innovation in finance.”

Brexit troubles in Europe; increasing bilateral tensions such as USA-China and Russia-Ukraine; the situation in Iraq and Syria; growing tendency towards protectionism in global trade are all negatively affecting the flow of trade, investment and funds in the world. We need to tighten the ranks domestically while the conditions deteriorate internationally. Confidence and stability lies at the foundations of all the gains Turkey has achieved in recent years. We know their value very well. We must maintain trust and stability; let's start a new breakthrough in the economy, strengthen the fires of reform. In particular, a brave new investment move that will be launched under your leadership will bring us to the fore in global competition. I am confident that this wheel will overcome this bump; Allah willing, we will continue on our path. Together, we will move Turkey towards rapid growth. We will continue to produce as the Turkish private sector; tomorrow, as we have yesterday, to produce our country, to make it stronger, richer, more prosperous.”

- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began his speech at the Turkey Economy Council held at the TOBB Twin Towers by expressing his hopes that the meeting would prove beneficial for Turkey.

Stating that the pulse of Turkey's economy beats in the hall housing the Council, Erdoğan said, “We've built the economy so far in consultation with those in attendance here. We never said, ‘That’s how we say it will be.’ Sometimes, even though we disagreed, we did not hesitate to act on our consultations. ‘Nation and homeland first’ is not a slogan but our philosophy of life.”

Erdoğan stated that the participants of the meeting are also the opinion leaders of their cities.

Noting that Turkey grew 3.5 times in the last 16 years, President Erdoğan continued:

“We have opened our entrepreneurs and investors to the world together with you. We have brought technology, e-commerce and new sectors together with you to the agenda of our country. We have improved the investment environment together with you; short-term working allowance, maturity of premium debts of Social Security Institution, minimum wage support, licensed warehousing support, VAT, SCT rebates, credit restructuring, interest rate cuts, dissemination of SME loans, solution of export closure problems, commercial vehicle leasing. We have realized the relevant regulations and many other applications together with you. We have also put into practice the measures necessary to overcome the troubles that threaten our economy. Hopefully we will reach our 2023 goals together with you.”

- “Together, we are Turkey, we are the Turkish economy”

Erdoğan, stating that they would make Turkey one of the world's 10 largest economies with the business world, addressed the participants: “We will raise Turkey to high income groups from upper-middle income group together with you. We will entrust our 2053 and 2071 vision to new generations with you. Do not doubt that we will listen to every demand concerning the interests of our country and do what is necessary as we have always done.

“Together, we are Turkey, we are the Turkish economy. The secret of success in politics and in other areas is to believe, then to take action and then to continue fighting with conviction. There is no way to move forward with non-believers. With this belief, Allah willing, we will succeed.”

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