FROM THE PRESIDENT

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: "WE WILL MARK THE FUTURE OF TÜRKİYE-AFRICA RELATIONS WITH THE WORK WE DO AND THE DECISIONS WE TAKE"

The closing ceremony of the fourth Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum, hosted by the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Trade and organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) in cooperation with the African Union, was attended by the President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chairperson of the African Union & President of the Union of Comoros (TBC), Azali Assoumani, Minister of Trade of The Republic of Türkiye Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals of the African Union Commission (AUC) Albert Muchanga, DEİK President Nail Olpak, President of the African Business Council Dr. Amany Asfour,  and nearly 4 thousand representatives from the economy and business world of Türkiye and African countries.

Erdoğan: "Our trade volume with the African continent, which was 5.4 billion dollars in 2003, approached 41 billion dollars by the end of 2022"

Stating that they will make every contribution to ensure that the African continent takes its rightful place in the global system, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: "The level of our relations with most of the countries of the continent was not at a level befitting neither us nor our African friends. First, in 2003, we put into practice the strategy of developing trade and economic relations with Africa. Then, by declaring 2005 as the 'Year of Africa' in our country, we opened a new page in our relations with the continent. As we embraced our African brothers and sisters again, we tried to advance our cooperation on the basis of equal partnership and win-win. We pushed away arrogant perspectives towards the continent. We paid attention to establishing relations with our African brothers and sisters at eye level, developing empathy and understanding each other more. Our trade volume with the continent, which was 5.4 billion dollars in 2003, reached 41 billion dollars as of the end of last year. The total value of our direct investments in Africa has exceeded 10 billion dollars. Our companies undertake very important tasks in eliminating Africa's infrastructure and superstructure deficiencies by doing business in different fields from energy to construction, from agriculture to white goods and food. Our companies contribute to employment and production in African countries by meeting most of their labor needs locally."

Erdoğan: "The total value of projects undertaken by Turkish contractors in Africa has exceeded 85.5 billion dollars

Emphasizing that it is a source of pride for Türkiye that more than 100 thousand African workers have gained employment opportunities thanks to Turkish investors, President Erdoğan said, "The total value of the projects undertaken by Turkish contractors across the continent has exceeded 85.5 billion dollars. During our visits, we encountered roads, stadiums, airports, and factories built by Turkish companies and their African partners. Our interlocutors express their happiness to work for our companies at every opportunity. As the President of Türkiye, I welcome this recognition of our companies on the continent. We have increased the number of embassies in Africa to 44, and we are proud to host the ambassadors of 38 African countries in Ankara. The number of our commercial consultancies will soon reach 31. We established Business Councils with a total of 48 African countries. The number of countries with which we have trade and economic cooperation agreements has reached 48. The number of countries with agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investments has reached 32. We observe with great happiness that our relations with Africa develop daily in every field, from trade to investment, from culture to education. We believe that the African continent's free trade area will create important opportunities for trade and investments in the coming period. I would like to thank the African Union and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) for their cooperation and contributions to the realization of the forum."

President Assoumani: "We must make Africa a continent of hope and we must work together for this"

Chairperson of the African Union & President of the Union of Comoros (TBC), Azali Assoumani, "This forum addresses issues of concern to the people of Türkiye and the African continent. Previously, the same forum was organized in 2021, aiming to increase prosperity jointly. With these steps, we have the opportunity to work in areas such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, digital marketing, and health. Since the beginning of the partnership with Africa, Türkiye has always used these opportunities best. We must make Africa a continent of hope and reiterate our call to work together to do so. Türkiye's interest in and appreciation of the continent, such as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's more than 40 visits to the continent, Türkiye's opening to Africa, and the declaration of 2005 as the Year of Africa, are invaluable for all of us. Now, we expect Türkiye's trade volume with African countries to reach 75 billion dollars in 2024, and we are happy to see Türkiye's support in this regard. We see that Africa needs huge investments in infrastructure and energy. We trust Türkiye to transfer its experience to the private sector in the continent. On behalf of the African Union, I would like to thank my brother, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, once again and express our gratitude for his warm welcome."

Minister Bolat: "We support the approach that Africans will determine the future of Africa"

Stating that Türkiye has always aimed to develop relations with African countries based on equal partnership, brotherhood, and mutual respect and aims to establish mutually beneficial cooperation, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Türkiye Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat said: "Türkiye has been taking decisive steps to develop its relations with Africa with a win-win principle since 2003 when the Strategy for the Development of Trade and Economic Relations with Africa was put into practice. Since 2003, when the Africa Strategy determined by our President  Erdoğan was put into effect, bilateral relations have entered a period of rapid development. While our trade volume with African countries reached 40.7 billion dollars in 2022, we have reached a trade volume of 27 billion dollars this year as of the 9-month period. Our Türkiye-Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum, which we organized in the current conjuncture where international cooperation is even more needed, offered a significant opportunity to address the agenda issues of economic and trade relations between Türkiye and African countries and identify new cooperation areas. We are pleased to have met with representatives of African countries and 24 ministers representing African countries during the two-day Forum. In the meetings held for two days within the scope of TABEF, we discussed how cooperation in the fields of agriculture, agriculture-based industry, tourism, health, manufacturing, infrastructure, textile and women entrepreneurship can be carried further. In addition, there were sessions, seminars and meetings where African governments introduced the investment opportunities in their countries to the Turkish private sector, and Turkish and African business people came together and had fruitful business meetings. While supporting the approach that the future of Africa will be determined by Africans, we will continue to stand by Africa in the international arena in the coming period, and we will continue to take decisive steps to develop together with African countries as equal partners. I would like to thank Azali Assoumani, Chairperson of the African Union & President of the Union of Comoros (TBC), who acted in partnership with our Ministry of Trade, the administrations of 6 African international organizations, DEIK management and staff headed by Mr. Nail Olpak, and nearly 4 thousand participants from Africa and Türkiye.

"Olpak: "We will increase our trade with Africa first to 50 billion dollars and then to 75 billion dollars"

Emphasizing that they are working diligently to increase the trade volume between Türkiye and African countries first to 50 billion dollars and then to 75 billion dollars, DEIK President Nail Olpak said: "In our Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum, which we organized for the fourth time this year, we hosted 1 guest President, Ministers of 24 African countries, Commissioner of the African Union Commission and President of the Business Council, 32 Ambassadors, 19 business world presidents, 3,900 Turkish and African business people, 1700 of whom were from Africa. 9,800 business meetings were held within the scope of our program. I would like to tell a well-known short African story. When an explorer was moving through the African jungle, and one of his companions suddenly stopped, the explorer asked: "Why did we stop? Are you tired?" The man replied: "We are not tired, but we are moving so fast that our souls are left behind." Sometimes, we run so fast in the routine of life that we lose the soul of the work. Then, we need to take a breath and continue with a better plan. I see TABEF as a balancing process to catch our soul.

As DEİK, we continue our "Business Diplomacy" efforts to increase our investment and trade with our 152 Business Councils, 48 of which operate in Africa, by capturing the spirit of our business. We are working decisively to strengthen our trade and investments with African countries. We aim to increase our trade first to 50 billion dollars and then to 75 billion dollars. In order to reach our targets, overcoming visa problems, double tax avoidance agreements, mutual recognition and protection of investments agreements, FTAs, development of banking opportunities, and cooperation in the fields of technology and start-ups are crucial. And we have only one principle: win-win. I would like to thank our Presidents, our Minister of Trade and the African Union, our Ministers, panelists, and all representatives of the business world who participated in our program with great interest."

The best of Türkiye-Africa Business World were awarded

After President Erdoğan's speech, the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between Türkiye and the Union of Comoros was signed. The agreement was signed by Minister of Trade Ömer Bolat and Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Digital Economy of the Union of Comoros Kamalidine Souef. Afterward, Erdoğan and the President of the Union of Comoros, Azali, presented awards to the executives of 6 companies that developed projects covering the African continent and contributed to the development of trade relations with the continent.

Miller Holding CEO & Milvest Chairman Turhan Mildon, Aksa Energy Chairman Cemil Kazancı, Albayrak Holding Chairman Ahmet Albayrak, Doğanlar Holding Vice Chairman Adnan Doğan, Nurol Holding Vice Chairman Oğuz Çarmıklı and Turkish Aerospace General Manager Prof. Dr. Temel Kotil were presented with their awards.

Sponsored by Miller Holding, Aksa, Albayrak, Doğanlar, Kolin, Nurol, TAI, Selpak, Tay Group, Koluman, Ford Truck and Afrika Finance Corporation, the Türkiye-Africa IV. Business and Economic Forum ended with bilateral business meetings following the Türkiye-Africa Business Awards Ceremony organized as part of the TABEF Ceremony.

MINISTER BOLAT "OUR TRADE VOLUME WITH AFRICA REACHED 40.7 BILLION DOLLARS"

Türkiye-Africa IV Business and Economic Forum, hosted by the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Trade and organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) in cooperation with the African Union, started on October 12, 2023 in Istanbul with the motto "Unlocking Opportunities: Building Stronger Türkiye-Africa Economic Partnerships".

Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals of the African Union Commission (AUC) Ambassador Albert Muchanga, Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Digital Economy of the Union of Comoros Kamalidine Souef, DEİK President Nail Olpak and nearly 4 thousand business people who shape the trade and economies of Türkiye and African countries signed four agreements within the scope of the MoU Ceremony with the announcement of the TABEF 2023 Joint Declaration on the first day of the Forum.

Organized for the fourth time this year, the Türkiye-Africa Business and Economic Forum is being held with the motto of "Unlocking Opportunities: Building Stronger Türkiye-Africa Economic Partnerships" with nearly 4 thousand participants from 53 countries. On the first day of the Forum, which brought together representatives of the economy, trade, and business world of Türkiye and African countries, new cooperation and investment opportunities were discussed with country and sector-based panels. Within the scope of the Forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signing Ceremony was held with the participation of Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat, African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining Albert Muchanga, and Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Digital Economy of the Union of Comoros Kamalidine Souef.

During the ceremony, "DEİK & ECCAS High Business Council MOU Agreement," "DEİK/Türkiye-Senegal Business Council Establishment Agreement," "DEİK/Türkiye-Cape Verde Business Council Cooperation Agreement" and "DEİK/Türkiye-Togo Business Council Cooperation Agreement" were signed.

Bolat: "Turkish investments in Africa have reached 10 billion dollars"

Emphasizing that Türkiye attaches great importance to its relations with African countries under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat said: "The 'Strategy for the Development of Trade and Economic Relations with African Countries,' which we started in 2003, is being implemented vigorously in every dimension. Here, we aimed to develop our economic and commercial relations with the entire African continent in a balanced manner. In 2003, Türkiye's foreign trade with Africa was only 5.4 billion dollars. By the end of 2022, we are pleased to see that the trade volume reached 40.7 billion dollars. In the 20 years that our Africa strategy has been implemented, we see that our trade volume with the African continent has increased 7.5 times, and when we look specifically at the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, we see that our trade volume has increased 11.3 times. While Turkish investments in Africa have reached 10 billion dollars today, we see that Turkish investors provide job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and make great contributions to the development of the countries in which they invest. In addition, Turkish contracting companies have successfully completed 1864 projects in the African continent, totaling 85.4 billion dollars in infrastructure and superstructure investments. We are also very pleased that the African Union is a member of the G20 community, and as Türkiye, we support Africa on the G20 platform. As ministers, we exchanged ideas on developing relations between Türkiye and African countries in areas such as agriculture, agriculture-based industries, manufacturing sector, infrastructure and transportation, tourism and women entrepreneurship. Our country will continue to contribute to Africa's development in every field and to take its rightful place in the global system."

Olpak: "We will take important steps to reach a trade volume target of 50 billion dollars first and then 75 billion dollars between Türkiye and Africa"

In his speech at the opening of the forum, DEIK President Nail Olpak emphasized that the Turkish business world is ready for joint infrastructure investments with Africa and said, "We will build new bridges between Türkiye and Africa with panels, bilateral meetings, G2B meetings and agreements to be signed within the two-day TABEF. We will take essential steps to reach a trade volume target of 50 billion dollars first and then 75 billion dollars. Our priority is to increase our cooperation with our African friends in infrastructure projects, especially transportation, energy, and health, within the framework of the win-win principle. When we look at the last 20 years of the Turkish economy, we see a significant leap. In the last 20 years, Turkish contracting companies, whose activities in the north of Africa go back further, have increased their activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and have become the contracting companies with the largest presence in the entire continent. Looking at the world today, it is clear that infrastructure investments play an important role in solving global economic problems.

On the other hand, green and digital transformation is on the world's agenda, and these transformations, which will change production and consumption habits in every sector, are leading to a significant paradigm shift on the energy side. Logistics investments, which are complementary to these, are also an area we expect to become more prominent. New regional collaborations and trade routes are on the agenda in global trade. The concretization of these trade routes will be possible through new transportation, energy, and communication infrastructures. In this context, integrated intermodal infrastructures will gain more importance. The transformations we have experienced and will experience reveal that the importance of energy, transportation, and communication infrastructure investments will increase. However, solutions to global problems cannot be found by a single country making these investments. Therefore, we should keep our vision wider and be more open to global cooperation in these investments. As the Turkish business world, we are ready for more joint infrastructure investments with our African friends in every field."

Sector-based opportunities between Türkiye and Africa were discussed in day-long panels

On the first day of the Forum, "Collaboration on Manufacturing and Agro-Industries: Supply Chain  Sustainability & Food Security," Africa Digital Transformation: Enhancing Africa Digital Technologies Ecosystem," and "Health Technology Assessment & Promotion of  Tourism Centers" panels and "Infrastructure Investment Opportunities: 'Energy, Telecommunication and Transportation Networks," "Opportunities and Benefits of Free Zones," Africa Digital Transformation: Enhancing Africa Digital Technologies Ecosystem"The importance of an Efficient Defense and Aviation Technologies," "Investment & Trade Financing in Africa and Banking Relations with Türkiye"  and "Investment & Trade Opportunities in ECCAS Region" sessions and bilateral business meetings were organized simultaneously.

NEW REPORT BY DEİK TÜRKİYE - KUWAIT BUSINESS COUNCIL ON LEVERAGING ECONOMIC RELATION TO PROMOTE FURTHER GROWTH BETWEEN KUWAIT AND TÜRKİYE

Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEİK) on Thursday (November 4, 2021) launched its report on Kuwait and Türkiye bilateral economic relations. Chaired by Turkish Limak Holding's Board President Ebru Özdemir, the Report titled ‘Bilateral Trade and Foreign Direct Investment for Kuwait and Turkey: Leveraging Economic Relations to Promote Further Growth' aims to provide business circles, investors and decision makers both in Kuwait and in Turkey a practical guide to take forward their business plans.

The virtual launch event of the Report brought together high level representatives from the Turkish Embassy in Kuwait, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), Investment Office of Presidency of Republic of Türkiye and DEİK.

On the launch event Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council and Limak Chair Ebru Özdemir said: "Past 50 years since Türkiye and Kuwait established diplomatic relations, our bilateral relations on the whole enjoyed a steady development. The past 15 years in particular have witnessed active and fruitful interactions between two countries thanks to the strong dialogue between leaders of two countries. And today, bilateral trade relations between our countries are at a major crossroad with both countries are looking forward to advance cooperation". On Business Council's activities Limak's Özdemir said: "More efforts are needed to be spent to increase and boost bilateral economic cooperation between Turkey and Kuwait, especially in the post-pandemic period. As the Türkiye-Kuwait Business Council, we continue our activities since 2006 and always looking after for new ways to contribute the economic relations".

DEİK President Nail Olpak, in his welcoming address emphasized 3 main takeaways from the pandemic period, namely disruption of the supply chains, changing perception on logistics and urgent need for global supply chains resilience. President Olpak said: "As the Turkish business community we had and still have an uninterrupted supply chain from the beginning of the outbreak, so we're eager and we desire to have much more bilateral economic relations including direct investments with Kuwait".

President Olpak continued by: "We should cooperate on new and potential areas such as e-commerce, finance, banking & fintech (financial technology), but also on traditionally strong sectors, namely construction, infrastructure, medical sector, food and health sectors. In September 2021, as DEİK we organized a joint webinar with the participation of Kuwaiti banks and Turkish banks to further enhance the relations between two countries in both conventional banking sector and in Islamic banking, which I believe has a strong potential. I hope, these joint efforts will be useful and productive for both parties."

Burak Dağlıoğlu, the President of the Investment Office of Presidency of Republic of Türkiye, said the Report aims to provide an overview of the investment landscape in Türkiye and Kuwait. "I hope that this report will be a roadmap for the development of mutual trade and investments," he added. Turkish Investment Office's President Dağlıoğlu also stressed:

"a resilient and fast-growing economy, Türkiye offers business-friendly policies, deep talent pool, and global market access at the nexus of Europe, Asia, and Africa to attract sustainable FDI".

Mohammed Mulla Yaqoub, Deputy Director General for Business Development of KDIPAemphasized the  trade and investment potential between Türkiye and Kuwait, and also business potential in logistics sector.Deputy Director General Yaqoub said: "We believe that the pandemic pushed all of us to become more sufficient and efficient, and this requires the collaboration among countries". KDIPA's Director GeneralYaqoub also emphasized the importance of Kuwait Vision 2023 for business investors: "In the scope of Kuwait Vision 2035, public sector started a huge privatization process and we want from Turkish companies to come and to become partner with us in the privatization process". Yaqoub also highlighted the Turkey's business-friendly environment and their desire to work for increasing sectoral diversity in the bilateral trade between Turkey and Kuwait.

Ayşe Hilal Sayan Koytak, Türkiye's Ambassador to Kuwait, on the launch event said that economic and commercial cooperation is at the core of Turkey-Kuwait relations. "Currently, there are 383 companies in Turkey having Kuwaiti investors. The total foreign direct investment inflows from Kuwait to Turkey between 2002 and 2020 already passed $2 billion," she added. So, by launching a report on bilateral trade and foreign direct investment, the Business Council is again underlining a crucial aspect of the bilateral ties, she highlighted.

On the Report

The Report encompasses a general picture of Türkiye-Kuwait bilateral economic cooperation and latest developments in the relations; it also highlights key sectors and potential areas of investment for both countries. Accompanied with practical information for future investors and a brief about the economy as a whole and agencies involved in advancing FDI in both the countries, the Report aims to draw the way forward for Türkiye and Kuwait in the economic sphere.

The Report could be reached at: https://www.deik.org.tr/information-center-publications

The recording of the virtual lauch could be reached at: https://youtu.be/DiWta3wAuV4

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: "WE EXPECT OUR BILATERAL TRADE VOLUME WITH THE US TO REACH $25 BILLION BY THE END OF THE YEAR"

11. Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner organized by DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council (TAIK), was held in New York on September 20, 2021, at the invitation of DEİK President Nail Olpak and TAİK President Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Trade Mehmet Muş, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Turkish Ambassador to Washington Murat Mercan and AK Party Deputy Chairman Binali Yıldırım.

At the Gala Dinner, which was attended by prominent representatives of the Turkish and American business communities, the importance of bilateral trade and economic relations was emphasized and a call for cooperation was issued. The Turkish Investment Conference Gala Dinner, which was held for the 11th time this year, hosted nearly 300 guests, including the leaders of the Turkish business community, the world's top investment companies and fund managers, and senior executives from the United States.

President Erdoğan: "Our flexible and high production capacity offers many opportunities for American companies"

Speaking at the 11th Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner, T.C. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recalled that in May 2021, he exchanged views with the executives of some American companies via video conference and discussed new cooperation and investment opportunities, and that this time DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council met with valuable representatives of the American business community. stated that this provides the opportunity. Recalling that Türkiye and the U.S. have been two strong strategic partners and allies for 70 years, Erdoğan said, "This very special and sound cooperation has contributed to peace, stability and security in many regions of the world over the years. It has shown once again how important and valuable a partnership is. As in personal relationships, disagreements may arise from time to time in intergovernmental relations. We believe that these can be overcome through dialog in a framework of solidarity and mutual respect, and in the comprehensive meeting we confirmed our common will on this issue. We fully agree with Mr. President that it is possible and necessary to expand our economic relations. We jointly underlined our determination to increase our bilateral trade volume to $100 billion. This figure is a comfort if the right steps are taken. We agree that this is a realistic goal that can be achieved.

Despite epidemic conditions, bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and the U.S. increased to $21 billion last year. The U.S. ranks third among the countries to which Türkiye exports the most. We expect our bilateral trade volume to reach $25 billion by the end of this year. Our country has shown during the epidemic that it is a reliable link in global supply chains. We are continuing the work we began with the goal of leading our country to a more civil, democratic, and free constitution. We will continue to implement the necessary legislation to ensure that international investors can safely invest in our country. Our flexible and high production capacities offer many opportunities to American companies, especially in terms of supply chains and security of supply.".

Mehmet Muş: "We want to further strengthen our trade and investment relations with our strategic partners like the U.S."

Noting that Türkiye has achieved serious economic breakthroughs in the recent past without being overshadowed by global and regional problems, Minister of Trade Mehmet Muş said: "The Turkish economy, which has been tested by both political and economic tensions over the past 20 years, has successfully overcome all difficulties. It has a vision to complete its digital transformation, have the most advanced production technology and consolidate its position as a manufacturing and trade hub with high competitiveness and strong logistical and legal infrastructure. "We want to further strengthen our trade and investment relations with our strategic partners such as the US on a global scale. We are convinced that in the coming period, together with the U.S., we will find new solutions at all levels, both in many issues affecting our bilateral trade and in the development of the multilateral trading system," he said.

Nail Olpak: "The way to increase bilateral trade volume is through our state-centric approach"

Nail Olpak, President of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), said, "We are approaching our U.S. action plan with a multifaceted and dynamic perspective. We will be more supportive of our business community with a state-centric approach.Currently, our DEİK/Türkiye-USA Business Council has committee structures in 7 states, and we aim to increase this number to 13 by the end of the year. We believe that the way to increase bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and the U.S. is through our state-centric approach.

Olpak stressed the need for cooperation on social issues and the goal of strengthening economic and trade ties, recalling the words of Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane, "Anyone who has the heart to do something has the oceans to fly," and said, "Success in the heart. As trusted representatives of the Turkish and American business communities, we have more oceans to cross, but we have strong hearts to overcome them to serve our common interests by strengthening our cooperation in both social and economic issues."

Yalçındağ: "The experience of the Turkish entrepreneur is clear, his courage is clear, his success is obvious... We want our American friends to be partners in this success."

DEİK/Türkiye- USA Business Council (TAİK) Chairman Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ expressed his pleasure that the Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner, which could not be organized in the last two years due to the Covid-19 epidemic measures, could be realized this year with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Yalçındağ pointed out that TAIK has never abandoned its priorities despite the change in habits due to the global epidemic, "We have tried to open new opportunities by asking ourselves how we can contribute more to the economic and commercial relations between the two countries. We have made it our mission to contribute to the areas that are waiting to mature between Türkiye and the United States.

Yalçındağ pointed out that the volume of trade between the two countries does not meet its potential despite the obvious annual increase, "As TAİK, we are acting proactively and implementing success-oriented projects so that trade and investment between our countries reach the level they deserve. We are paving the way," he said. Referring to investments in defense industry and technology, Yalçındağ said, "The experience of the Turkish entrepreneur is clear, his courage is clear, his success is obvious... We want our American friends to share in this success as well. Let us experience together the justifiable pride of greater success."

11. Türkiye Investment Conference Gala Dinner; TEB Holding, THY and Kibar Holding are platinum sponsors; Halkbank, Hepsiburada, IC İçtaş, Limak Holding, TAV and Trendyol are gold sponsors; Getir, TBNG, Turkcell, TUSAŞ, Transatlantic Petroleum and Yemeksepeti became silver sponsors.

NAİL OLPAK: “TURKEY WILL CONTINUE TO GROW WITH THE CONFIDENCE THAT STEMS FROM DEMOCRACY AND THE STRENGTH IT RECEIVES FROM THE WILL OF THE NATION”

Nail Olpak, President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), published a message about the 15 July Democracy and National Unity Day.

Olpak stated the following:

"Five years have passed since the treacherous coup attempt on 15 July 2016 by the FETO terrorist organization, which covets Turkey's unity and integrity. With the strong power of our state and the unshakable will of our nation, we did not let those who tried to disrupt our democracy as one body by displaying an exemplary stance to the world. In that dark night, we witnessed with deep pain that many valued members ​​of our country were heroically martyred or become a veteran in order to protect our homeland.

As a result of the determination of our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and our state, we proved once again that the sovereignty belongs to the nation unconditionally. On the occasion of July 15, the Day of Democracy and National Unity, we commemorate with respect, mercy and gratitude all our heroes of democracy, who put their lives on the line against the traitors who tried to plunge Turkey into darkness. We hope that this beautiful country and our beloved nation will not experience such tragic events again.

While our state and nation continue their struggle by overcoming many cyclical and regional difficulties, they continue to walk confidently towards their goals with the vision of "Strong Turkey". Turkey, which is among the 20 largest economies in the world, managed to become one of the rare countries that showed positive growth success even during the Covid-19 epidemic, which changed the course of global trade. We hope that in 2021, we will reach an export volume of 200 billion dollars for the first time in the history of the Republic.

As the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), the locomotive platform of the Turkish business world, we will continue our business diplomacy activities, which we carry out with a focus on "more trade" with our 146 Business Councils. While we carry the power of the Turkish private sector to the whole world, our struggle for democracy, which we carry out together with our Turkish diaspora representatives, will never stop.

We will continue to work for Turkey day and night in order for our country to open new doors in foreign trade, break new records in exports, become the cradle of international investments and one of the centers of attraction for trade."

OLPAK: “THE GROUND FOR DIALOGUE AT THE NATO SUMMIT PLEASED THE BUSINESS WORLD”
Nail Olpak, Chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), made a written assessment for the Turkish business world regarding the meetings between President Erdogan and state leaders at the NATO Summit.
 
Olpak stated the following in his remarks:
 
"Our President Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, within the scope of the NATO Summit, held bilateral meetings with many leaders, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The meetings resulted in a positive and productive picture for Turkey, with which we are very pleased.
 
As the Turkish business world, we believe that our economic and commercial relations with friendly and allied countries in NATO will continue with a much stronger momentum in the upcoming period. We see that productive contacts and cooperations are established with Western countries, which are our biggest commercial and economic partners, shaping the world economy and global trade. We believe that this constructive and conciliatory approach will also contribute to our business world, which will shift the gears up in global trade.
 
In addition, our Minister of Trade, Mr. Mehmet Muş, was in Brussels with the EU Commission officials, especially the modernization of the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU; the development of commercial and economic relations, cooperation in the field of supply chains and green transformation, and fruitful talks on the positive agenda of Turkey-EU are also pleasing for the business world.
 
We, as DEİK, will continue to work for more trade in line with common interests by always maintaining open communication between countries in our commercial diplomacy activities with our Business Councils. We will continue to take decisive steps towards getting a bigger share from world trade with new steps to be taken in terms of bilateral trade, mutual investments, industrial cooperation and exports."
OLPAK: "WE INVITE THE WHOLE WORLD TO BECOME ONE VOICE FOR MASJID AL-AQSA"

Nail Olpak, President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), made a written statement on May 11th 2021, regarding the attacks carried out by Israeli security forces in Gaza and Masjid al-Aqsa. Olpak stated the following: "The violence inflicted by Israel in front of the whole world continues by attacking innocent civilians and holy places of worship in Gaza and Masjid al-Aqsa, even during the holy month of Ramadan. As a family, we strongly condemn Israel's attacks on the holy and innocent. Masjid al-Aqsa, where all religions meet as the common heritage of humanity, is our common value. We invite the whole world to become one voice against these attacks, as business people who believe in the value of peace and humanity. We call Israel to stop this oppressive attitude that is beyond any law and the violence targeting innocent civilians immediately. As DEİK, we will continue to support the Palestinian people and to stand for peace and humanity."

OLPAK: "U.S. PRESIDENT BIDEN'S POLITICAL AND BASELESS STATEMENTS ARE NEVER ACCEPTABLE"
Nail Olpak, President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), made a written assessment of the use of the so-called "Genocide" expression for the 1915 events by the U.S. President Joe Biden.
 
Olpak stated the following:
 
"We have deeply regretted the so-called genocide statement made by the U.S. President Joe Biden with a political discourse regarding the 1915 events.  Turkey has never committed such a crime against humanity during its long history. We strongly oppose and completely reject this unrealistic, political and baseless statement, which is not valid in terms of international law. We do not find this unfair attitude of the U.S.A., which we call a friendly and allied country, which will not benefit anyone as a third country, neither politically nor diplomatically.
 
In spite of various problems, during these critical times when we have joined our efforts to increase trade cooperations between Turkey and the United States, we invite the U.S. government once more to reconsider the sensitivity of the situation and their attitude.  We will resolutely continue our business diplomacy activities, which we carry out to add value to the foreign economic relations of the Turkish business world."
PRESS RELEASE

As Turkish businesspeople, we believe that it is of utmost importance to continue with our commercial and economic relations smoothly with Saudi Arabia.

We believe that the growth and development of Turkish and Saudi economies, which complement one another, rely on continuing trade between our countries on a win-win basis. Because, we know that trade brings wealth and prosperity to people.

Despite all these, we regret to see that Saudi Arabia is taking an increasingly negative stance against Turkish companies. We learn from the complaints reported by Turkish companies, which are also taken up by the press, that Saudi authorities state that no imports would be made from Turkey. Furthermore, it is stated that many Saudi companies which supply goods from Turkish companies are forced to sign a letter of commitment not to import goods from Turkey.

And recently, global logistics companies have been warning their customers about the obstacles that Turkish companies face in Saudi Arabia, that they should be prepared for long waiting times at Saudi customs for goods arriving from Turkey and that imports from Turkey might even be blocked. Thus, this issue has gone beyond bilateral economic relations and become a problem for global supply chains.

Finally, it has been a massive disappointment for the businesspeople of both countries that the President of the Council of Saudi Chambers Mr. Ajlan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ajlan tweeted on October 3, 2020 that it is the duty of all Saudi nationals to boycott Turkish products. 

All these negative developments we have pointed out above, are also valid for Turkish contracting companies that have contributed to the Saudi Arabian economy for years and have successfully completed hundreds of important projects in the country so far. Our contractors have not been invited to the important tenders for sometime and they have not been given  any new big projects.

We deeply regret the discriminatory treatment that our companies face in Saudi Arabia.

Any official or unofficial initiative to block trade between the two countries will have negative repercussions on our trade relations and be detrimental to economies and people of both countries.

Decreasing supply from Turkey will lower the business volume and revenues of Saudi companies and will negatively affect the purchasing power of Saudi nationals who prefer Turkish products for their quality and price with confidence. 

In this context, we, the Turkish businesspeople, expect Saudi authorities to take concrete initiatives to resolve the problems in our trade and economic relations.

We are confident that we can surmount any kind of problem with constructive dialogue and cooperation.

 

M. Rifat HİSARCIKLIOĞLU                 Bendevi PALANDÖKEN                      İsmail GÜLLE                        Nail OLPAK          

TOBB President                                  TESK President                                    TİM President                      DEİK President

                              

 

Simone KASLOWSKI                          Abdurrahman KAAN                          Mithat YENİGÜN                  Ayşem SARGIN   

TÜSİAD President                               MÜSİAD President                              TMB President                    YASED President

TURKEY-AFRICA ECONOMY AND BUSINESS FORUM ONLINE EDITION

Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum (TABEF), jointly organized online for the very first time by Turkish Ministry of Trade, the African Union and Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK), was opened on Thursday October 8, 2020 with the attandence of President of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Minister of Trade H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan, Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission (AUC) H.E. Victor Harrison, President of DEiK Mr. Nail Olpak and Coordinating Chairperson of DEiK/Turkey-Africa Business Councils Ms. Berna Gozbasi.

The global, digital-first and two-day Forum will provide access to hot business topics discussed during 10 panel sessions, 43 high-level speakers, live networking among 2.500 participants from Turkey and 71 countries (46 African countries), G2B meetings and virtual exhibiting booths on October 8-9 2020.

Top 5 sectors of the participant companies are Agro-Industry, Building & Infrastructure,

Trade & Distribution, Manufacturing and Energy.

About 68.000 people watched the opening session of the Forum's livestream on social media.

H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey

Turkey is proud to have contributed to African countries in their fight against the novel coronavirus with Turkish-made respirators, masks and overalls, the country's president said on Thursday.

"The peoples of Africa were unfortunately left to their fate in the face of the virus while Western developed countries were engaged in mask wars," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during the Turkey-Africa Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) via video link.

Erdogan underlined that the Turkey-Africa Health Partners Platform could facilitate comprehensive and permanent cooperation between the two sides.

"The essence of our relations with Africa is sincerity, brotherhood and solidarity," he said, adding that Turkey has never held short-term interests towards the continent.

Ankara does not approve designs to sustain the colonial practices of the past through new methods, he asserted, adding that as a country that has never partaken in colonialism, Turkey refuses to approach the continent in an arrogant or bossy way.

He underlined that Turkey did not see African countries as only markets for Turkish products, but rather sought win-win cooperation.

"We would like to win together, to succeed together, to walk together [with Africa]."

Trade Relations

Erdogan noted that trade volume with the African continent, which was $5.4 billion in 2003, reached $26.2 billion in 2019.

"We should not allow the negativities caused by the pandemic to slow down the momentum we have got in our relations," Erdogan said adding: "We have to take it [trade volume] to over $50 billion in a few years.

The total value of projects undertaken by Turkish companies across Africa has reached approximately $70 billion, he said, adding the market value of Turkish investments across the continent has exceeded $6 billion.

Underlining Turkish companies' critical role in overcoming the infrastructure and superstructure deficiencies in Africa, he stressed: "Turkish companies apply a unique model, from technology transfer to knowledge and experience sharing, from capacity investment to increase in joint ventures."

He also noted the Turkish firms have contributed to generate local employment and production in the countries where they are operating.

"Turkish investors, who meet most of their workforce needs locally, did not make the mistake of importing workers from abroad like many foreign companies.

"More than 100,000 African labourers have gained employment opportunities thanks to Turkish investors," Erdogan added.

Turkey will be among the fastest-recovering countries from the novel coronavirus pandemic, its top trade official said Thursday.

H.E. Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Turkey

According to the latest OECD report, Turkey -- after China and South Korea -- will be among the least affected countries by the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said during the Turkey-Africa Business Forum, organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEiK).

At the event, participants are discussing post-pandemic economic relations between Turkey and Africa, as well as several other topics such as e-commerce, agriculture and free trade agreements, she noted.

Pekcan underlined that the forum was hosting business people from 81 countries, of which over 60 of were African nations, adding that more than 50 international speakers would speak at the event.

"Turkey prioritizes the concept of win-win with Africa relations," she underlined.

Pekcan said that while Turkey defends its rights and benefits, it attaches importance to the rights of the least developed countries as well.

She recalled that Turkey's bilateral trade was up by 7%, reaching $26.2 billion last year and stranding at $18.2 billion in the first nine months of 2020 despite the virus outbreak.

Trade and investment between the two sides will expand further in the coming period, Pekcan added.

Mr. Nail Olpak, President of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK)

2063 Africa vision

Nail Olpak, chairman of the DEIK, said: "We can develop more investment and cooperation projects, including PPP [public-private partnerships], especially in areas such as health, transportation, engineering and architecture, banking, manufacturing and industry where information technologies are used.

During his speech, Olpak noted Pekcan's ongoing efforts to establish logistics centers in Africa, saying these centers are very important in terms of supply chains.

He said the 2063 vision of the African Union and its goals in manufacturing, industrialization and value-added production, which are set to transform Africa into a global power center, also shaped Turkey's economic relations with the continent.

The biggest problem, on the other hand, of the Turkish private sector in Africa is the financing of its activities, he said, adding that though Turk Eximbank provided intensive support for these operations, more support was needed.

H.E. Prof. Victor Harison, the Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission

Pandemic-hit Africa

Victor Harison, the Economic Affairs Commissioner of African Union Commission, said the COVID-19 pandemic had damaged the Africa continent deeply, with 1.5 million people infected and 36,000 dead.

Before the pandemic, Africa's GDP growth forecast for 2020 had been 3.4%. The current predictions are between minus 4.9% and minus 2.1%, Harison stated.

The inflation rate is currently over 5% in several African countries, he added.

The continent needs to raise its manufacturing exports and reduce the use of processed goods to close its fiscal gap, said Harison.

 

EXPECT BIG CHANGES FROM VIRUS: TURKISH BUSINESS GROUP
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to make sweeping changes to people's habits, including vacations, diets, technology, and investment, the head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) said on Monday.
 
After the emergence of the virus in Turkey several weeks ago, the group started to hold all its meetings via telecom links, President Nail Olpak said in a video conference.
 
He also said that all personnel on the board currently work from their homes.
 
DEIK is focused on public health and maintaining the group's activities, Olpak underlined.
 
Turkey's ambassadors to Beijing and Seoul also took part in the video conference, sharing their observations of how China and South Korea handled the pandemic. 
 
The virus, also known as COVID-19, has so far infected 10,827 people in Turkey and claimed 168 lives.
 
Worldwide, over 755,000 people have been infected and over 36,000 have died in 177 countries and territories, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University
TURKEY-SLOVENIA BUSINESS FORUM
The gradual rise in trade between Turkey and Slovenia is the most important sign of the two countries' cooperation, said Slovenia's deputy prime minister on Tuesday.  
 
Speaking at the Turkey-Slovenia Business Forum organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) in Istanbul, Miro Cerar said the strategic cooperation between the two countries has grown since March 2011 thanks to friendly ties.
 
Taking advantage of common opportunities is a common goal of both countries, he said.
 
He highlighted that beside their current cooperation, Turkey and Slovenia can generate opportunities in third countries.
 
Also speaking at the forum, Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu, Turkey's youth and sports minister, stressed that cutting transit quotas between Turkey and Slovenia to reasonable levels would help galvanize bilateral trade.
 
"Undoubtedly, this momentum will add value to both our bilateral relations and Turkey's trade with the EU," he added.
 
Turkey offers opportunities in making inroads in the automotive and health tourism sectors in various regions, the head of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) said Tuesday.

For over a year, Turkey has been doing "serious work" with Germany, France, Japan, and Hungary towards cooperation in other countries thanks to the country's quality work, speed, and competitiveness, Nail Olpak told the Turkey-Slovenia Business Forum in Istanbul.

"I would like to remind our Slovenian friends that the perception of our country in those markets is important," he underlined.

Fatih Canpolat, the head of DEIK's Turkey-Slovenia Business Council, stressed that in 2019 the trade volume between the two countries had risen 20% on an annual basis to top the $2 billion mark.

Canpolat pointed to the "significant potential" in several sectors of both sides, such as infrastructure, construction, tourism, automobiles, logistics, IT, biotechnology, medicine, and health tourism.

The close ties Slovenia, an EU member since 20014, enjoys with the union is an advantage for Turkish companies seeking to enter European markets, Canpolat added.

Zeljko Puljic, Canpolat's Slovenian counterpart, also said that the existing cooperation between the two countries can be improved.

Slovenia is currently focused especially on infrastructure investments, and there are opportunities for running joint business in the country, he said.

TURKEY, LITHUANIA SET $1B TRADE VOLUME TARGET

Turkish trade minister says bilateral trade volume should be doubled

VILNIUS, Lithuanian (AA) - Turkey and Lithuania are looking to double the bilateral trade volume from its current level, Turkey's trade minister said Friday.

"Our trade volume with Lithuania is around $562 million, which is very low. We aim to increase it to $1 billion as a first stage," Ruhsar Pekcan, currently visiting Lithuania, told the Turkey-Lithuania Business Forum in the capital Vilnius.

Pointing to Lithuania's success in innovation, technology, FinTech, communications, and information technology, Pekcan said the ministry backs the cooperation of firms from both sides.

She also highlighted the potential of health tourism.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said the country is a springboard for Turkish companies to reach Baltic states.

Turkey can be a gateway to Asian countries for Lithuania, Vaiciunas said, adding: "Actually, we want to close this gap."

Nail Olpak, the head of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), stressed that Turkish companies use Lithuania's investments in R&D infrastructure and information technology valleys.

AFGHANISTAN BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT MEETING
Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) on Friday said it has signed a cooperation deal on information sharing with Afghanistan's National Procurement Authority.
 
The agreement was signed as part of a business meeting organized by DEIK's Turkey-Afghanistan Business Council, it said on Friday.
 
Business representatives and officials discussed economic relations, investment and cooperation opportunities between the two countries during the meeting.
 
Nail Olpak, the head of the DEIK, said the annual bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Afghanistan is around $150 million, adding that it should be increased.
 
There are significant opportunities in construction, energy and security fields between the two countries, Olpak noted.
 
"I invite Turkish businesspeople to invest in these sectors," he said.
 
Accessing information and security are two critical points for doing business and increasing relations with Afghanistan, he recalled.
 
"I believe that we can create a fertile environment for our businesspeople," the head of the DEIK added.
 
Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, Afghanistan's acting finance minister, said two countries aim to make cooperation in political, investment, infrastructure, and trade areas.
 
Qayoumi reminded that Afghanistan is located in the middle of the historical trade line of Silk Road and it has a key role to integrate Central and South Asian economies.
 
"We are grateful for Turkey's extraordinary support to peaceful, prosperous and stabilized Afghanistan," he added.
ABOUT OPERATION PEACE SPRING

DEAR OUR DISTINGUISHED COUNTERPART,

On behalf of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, this letter addresses to your kind attention about the explanation of Turkey's most recent peace operation in Northern Syria. 

Turkey is firmly committed to fighting against terrorism originating from Syria. We are a committed member of the Global Coalition against DEASH and Turkey is the only country to put a chest-to-chest combat against DEASH with boots on the ground.  Turkey has already conducted two major counter-terrorism operations (Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch) in northwest Syria. Threat of terrorism originating from Syria and targeting our borders is not limited to DEASH.  During the last two years, especially from the east of River Euphrates, we have been exposed to more than hundred cases of attacks or hostile acts by PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of PKK which is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU and NATO. PYD/YPG has perpetrated terrorist attacks also within Syria and against Syrians and Northwest Syria is a particular case in point. More than 200 cases of attacks and killing or wounding of scores of civilians took place while PYD/YPG-affiliated elements assumed responsibility in these cases without hesitation. Turkey's expectations and sensitivities regarding the PYD/YPG threat were repeatedly shared with our Allies. It is obvious that, Turkey could no longer tolerate the presence of terrorists at our borders. Turkey is compelled to take our destiny into our hands. That is why "Operation Peace Spring"is launched.

The main objectives of this operation will be to ensure Turkey's border security, neutralize terrorists in the region and save Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of these terrorists.  The operation will be carried out on the basis of international law, in accordance with the right of self-defense as enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter and the relevant Security Council resolutions. Turkey notified UN Secretary General, President of the UN Security Council and NATO Secretary General of the start of this operation and intends to continue the operation until all terrorists have been wiped out of the region, our border security has been ensured, and local Syrians have been liberated from the tyranny of PYD/YPG as well as the DEASH threat. The operation also aims to facilitate safe and voluntary returns of displaced Syrians since Turkey has no plans whatsoever to modify the demographic structure in the operation area. It is the other way around the operation will give a chance to at least one million displaced Syrians, including Kurds, Arabs, and Christians alike, to return to their ancestors' lands after having been subject to ethnic cleansing by PYD/YPG.

Turkey's counter-terrorism efforts in Syria will contribute to the territorial integrity and unity of Syria by disrupting separatist agendas. The issue of foreign terrorist fighters can be effectively dealt with only by collective action by the international community. Protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure is our top priority and since the beginning, Turkey has always been at the forefront of the efforts to combat DEASH and all other radical actors.  

As a final conclusion, on behalf of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, we would like to have your kind attention towards the manipulated disinformation regarding the current operation on the ground causes only the escalation of polarization and radicalization of all actors in Syria. When you follow the current situation from different communication channels, we kindly request you to consider official statements from the Turkish government. Turkey is going to make sure that the current operation will have no harmful impact on Turkey's rebalancing process of its economy and its economic development. We also believe that this operation will bring peace, stability and prosperity to the region and to all over the world.

Kind regards,

Nail OLPAK

President