Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“Increasing global competition preparing ground for new global alliances”

23.05.2016 / İstanbul

Speaking at the 62nd General Assembly of ICC Turkey, ICC Turkey National Committee and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that a year of great upheavals both internationally and domestically is behind us, “Despite all of these upheavals and uncertainties, our economy retains its dynamism, showing its robust foundations.”​

Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We provided 690,000 people with jobs in 2015. We invested 222 billion TRY into equipment and machinery. We’ve reached 152 billion USD in exports including shuttle trading. We’ve earned 14 billion USD from international transportation and 27 billion USD from tourism. We’ve invested 5.1 billion USD internationally. All of these successes of the private sector give us morale and courage. We will move forward with more confidence in 2016. We will also keep risks in mind.”

ICC Turkey National Committee 62nd General Assembly was held in İstanbul. Giving the opening speech of the General Assembly, ICC Turkey National Committee and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that with the increasing interest rates from FED are enforcing a new global financial structure where debt is becoming more expensive, “The public and private sectors must adapt to this new situation and generate new policies.”

Drawing attention to the changing global economic climate, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the driving force behind the global economic growth in 2014-2015 was the export volume of the USA and Europe; that while the exports of developed countries increased by 4.5% in 2015, developing countries’ exports increased only by 0.5% and that developed countries’ exports are projected to increase even more in 2016.

- “Developed countries’ growth rates have surpassed those of developing countries”

Reporting that for the first time in this century, developed countries’ growth rates have caught up to those of developing countries except China and India and have surpassed them, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “This slowing of growth rates for developing countries is worrying for fair distribution of global wealth. There are 197 million unemployed worldwide. It is expected that this number will increase by 2.3 million in 2016; mostly in developing countries.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that another important development is the difficulty with which global trade is growing – barely reaching 3% growth, “Increased exports from developed countries has surpassed developing countries. It is expected that this trend will continue in 2016. That means that markets like the EU and US will once again come to the fore for industrial importers like us.”

- “Richest countries of the world cooperating to stay ahead”

Pointing out that raw petroleum dropped by 40% in price last year, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It is expected to stay level this year. This drop in price caused another very interesting development. Since the petroleum crisis of 1980, for the first time in 35 years, trade of countries apart from the USA and OPEC yielded more in favor of the USA. This will have not just trade but also political ramifications.”

Drawing attention to the fact that increasing global competition is preparing grounds for new global alliances, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Even the richest countries of the world cooperating to stay ahead. Becoming a part of a greater whole is in great demand. The USA is attempting to form a new trade and investment enterprise with the EU.

The newly rising Asia Pacific countries are forming an economic partnership. New alliances which will shape the global economy are forming. The EU has signed FTAs with 21 countries in the last 5 years in order to expand its market. China is invested greatly in Africa. It is making a place for itself in Africa as well as taking on the rights of the continent’s mineral wealth and large tracts of land. Developing countries are enacting reforms to draw in investments; changing their legislation to be friendlier to investors, increasing their place on the ease of business index.

As Turkey, we don’t have the luxury of competing by ourselves on the international market. We must ensure an influx of outside resources and technology. The revitalization of the EU membership process is very important in this regard. A similar development should be aimed for in regards to the TTIP between the EU and the USA. It is imperative that we be a part of this partnership.”

- G20 and B20 efforts

Providing information regarding their efforts at the G20 and B20 summits which took place in November of 2015, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We have successfully fulfilled our duty as the secretariat of our closest network partner with the ICC, B20 International Business Consultation Council. During the Ankara and Antalya B20 Summits, we convened with ICC Chair Terry McGraw, ICC Vice President Sunil Mittal, ICC Honorary Chair Marcus Wallenberg and many ICC Board Members as well as ICC G20 CEO Consultation Group.”

Stating that being supported by G20 leaders as a private sector enterprise is a great, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The goal of the World SME Forum Foundation is to monitor the global issues affecting SMEs and to facilitate the integration of SMEs into the global value chain. World SME Forum Foundation will focus on SME problems on a global scale. It will voice the concerns of SMEs on international policy making platforms.

It will provide guidance to SMEs by seeking new support models in attaining access to finances; it will aid countries in supporting SMEs; it will encourage SMEs in utilizing newly developing informatics technologies.

- ICC’s mission

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the ICC’s primary mission is to eliminate differing and contrary trade regulations throughout the world and form unified rules for business.

Stressing the importance they put on the facilitation of foreign trade, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We must push SMEs towards exports. It is impossible to increase our trade volume from 150 billion USD to 500 billion USD by selling the same goods to same companies in the same markets. The Customs Union regulations of the EU have greatly improved Turkey’s export performance. It is evident that we must facilitate exports.”

Stating that a new financial system for trade is being developed by the ICC, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Bank Payment Obligation or BPO has been deemed viable by the ICC with regulations prepared for it. BPO lowers risk as well as operational burden and costs. The system is similar to accreditation, regulated by a centralized online mechanism. Various Turkish banks have begun using it. We have begun promoting this new method; it is necessary to raise awareness to it for wider audiences.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the ICC International Arbitration Council is one of the foremost consultation centers in the world, one of the most important services offered by the ICC for the business community.

Stating that one of the most important developments in this regard is the establishment of the İstanbul Arbitration Center, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The İstanbul Arbitration Center will have many advantages in regards to geography, economy, region and culture. As alternative dispute resolution methods increase in our country, İstanbul will become the arbitration center of this region. It is evident that the İstanbul Arbitration Center will cater greatly to the business community in the future.”

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