DEİK Business Councils hold their ordinary general assembly meeting

The DEİK Business Councils held their ordinary general assembly meeting in the presence of the Minister of Economics of the Republic of Turkey, Nihat Zeybekci. The meeting in Istanbul on 18 October 2016 was hosted by DEİK President Ömer Cihad Vardan.

At the event,  Tamer Taşkın, DEİK Coordinator for Africa, Aykut Eken, DEİK Coordinator for the Americas, Murat Kolbaşı, DEİK Coordinator for Asia-Pacific, Zeynep Bodur Okyay, DEİK Coordinator for Europe, Tuncay Özilhan, DEİK Coordinator for Avrasia, Yusuf Cevahir, Deputy DEİK Coordinator for the Middle East and Gulf Region, Sürreyya Yücel Özden, President of the DEİK Energy Business Council on behalf of the DEİK Sector-Based Business Councils, and Nail Olpak, President of the DEİK Turkish World Business Council, reported about the activities of the regions and Councils they are responsible for.

Economics Minister Zeybekci: "In 10 years the most prestigious passport in this region will the Turkish passport."

In his address on the occasion of the ordinary general assembly of the DEİK Business Councils, the Economics Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Nihat Zeybekci, talked about the failed coup attempt of 15 July and its aftermath. In his assessment, the minister said that a country's interest-based relations must make that country strong. For Turkey he foresees a bright future: "In 10 years the most prestigious passport in this geographical region will the Turkish passport." With respect to the Customs Union established between Turkey and the EU in 1996, the minister qualified its scope as well-adjusted to the conditions of those days. However, in 2015 it has been decided to extend it. Only last week the minister had been in Brussels to discuss the revision, with very promising results, he told the gathering. He expressed his hope that negotiations could be finalised by the end of the year. The minister expects the extension of the Customs Union's scope to give exports a 15% boost in 2017.

Turkish-Russian relations which had been strained ever since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane over its territory, are on the mend.  Minister Zeybekci spoke of "very positive developments" in recent times. He expected certain technical problems in the countries' bilateral trade to be solved within a matter of weeks. Zeybekci also announced that Turkey and Iran had agreed to abolish customs duty for 165 products traded between the countries. The new  target was 200 products. Turkey which is on its way to full economic integration with the EU, sees a higher probability for Turkey's inclusion in the TTIP talks once the elections in the United States are over. In future, Turkey intends to invest more in Africa and intensify its trade with the continent, the minister said. He expects the trade volume, which achieved a value of USD 2.5 billion over one decade, to rise to USD 30 billion.

DEİK President Vardan: "In the last one year we organised 481 events in 66 countries"

In his opening address at the ordinary general assembly of the DEİK Business Councils, DEİK President Ömer Cihad Vardan, reminded the audience that in the course of the last one year Turkey had held general elections, its government was reshuffled twice and the country, on 15 July, suffered a coup attempt directed at its democracy and economy. As if the terror events inside the country and the wars that have been going on in its immediate neighbourhood as well as its near abroad for six year, and which have a negative impact on the country's export and investment markets, was not bad enough. During these difficult years, all DEİK members had done what was expected of them; they had kept pace with the process of change in Turkey and did their utmost to overcome the problems. The organisation itself had organised 481 events, attended by tens of thousands of Turkish and foreign businesspeople, 163 of which were held in Turkey and the remaining 318 in 66 different countries.

After the coup attempt of 15 July, DEİK had declared a "General Mobilisation" and held a consultative meeting attended by over 120 Business Council Presidents and Board of Directors Members. The meeting produced 152 proposals which were then condensed to a 11-points "Emergency Action Plan". Referring to that event, Vardan said: "In the context of this action we requested all our Business Council Presidents to visit the countries they are responsible for and hold face-to-face talks with our counterparts there.  As of October, 53 visits have been completed, with more to follow in the coming days." The DEİK President underlined that last year's activities had been carried out in close cooperation or with the support of DEİK's Founding Institutions TOBB, TİM, TÜSİAD, MÜSİAD, TMB, YASED, TÜMSİAD, İKV, TÜRSAB, TÜRKONFED, UND, İTO and İSO. He thanked all Presidents of the Founding Institutions present at the assembly.