Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

A predictable and rules-based global trading system strengthens peace in the world

02.03.2024 / Antalya

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu participated in the “International Trade, Connectivity and Interdependence” panel organized with the participation of Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz within the scope of Antalya Diplomacy Forum 2024.​

In his speech here, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Antalya is among the top 5 cities that attract the most visitors in the world and hosted 16 million foreign tourists last year, and that the city, which has made a name for itself in industry and agriculture, now contributes to global peace by ensuring that diplomacy stands out.

Stating that trade has become important not only economically but also politically, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Countries that are part of global value chains grow easier and faster. At the beginning of this century, Türkiye exhibited a concrete example of this. With the transformative effect of the EU, Türkiye has become the industrial giant of this region and the country that produces the most industrial products. It became Europe's main supplier of automotive, white goods and apparel. The EU imports more automobiles from Türkiye than any other country. The transition to the Customs Union in 1996 had a positive impact on Türkiye. Trade enriches, protectionism impoverishes. For the stability and prosperity of developing countries in particular, freer trade is essential. Countries that are integrated into the world and have improved their business environment will be both richer and more peaceful.”

- “Trade barriers between countries should be removed”

Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that Western Europe has not seen war for 80 years for the first time in history thanks to the union established by Europe, and said that trade is the greatest source of peace.

Stating that trade increases productivity and employment in developing economies while raising living standards by controlling inflation, Hisarcıklıoğlu continued as follows:

“We must remove trade barriers between countries and increase trade with each other. We must recognize that it is in the interest of all nations to establish a rules-based global trade regime. The WTO has helped to bring some order to global trade and improve international trade. As a business community, we believe that the global trading system needs updating and reform. We support a reform of the WTO based on the principles of inclusiveness and development that responds to the underlying causes of the public backlash against free trade. We want the WTO to become the dominant negotiating venue on global trade issues. We believe that a predictable and rules-based global trading system will strengthen peace in the world by spreading stability and prosperity.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that as TOBB, they modernized Türkiye's land customs gates with the build-operate-transfer model and facilitated border crossings.

Stating that this is a win-win project, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Our exporting companies reduced their logistics costs thanks to faster customs clearance. On the other hand, we did not bring additional burden to our state’s budget while obtaining more tax revenue with increased transaction volume. We were selected by the UN as the best public-private sector joint project and were shown as an example to the world. Now we have taken action to spread this model to our surrounding region.”

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