Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

We have made significant contributions to the dialogue between Türkiye and the EU business world

23.01.2023 / İstanbul

Speaking at the Closing Meeting of the Türkiye-EU Business Dialogue Project (TEBD), EUROCHAMBRES Vice President and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that the activities within the scope of the project were paralleled between EUROCHAMBRES policy priorities and that significant contributions were made to the dialogue between Türkiye and the EU business world with the project.​

The Closing Meeting of the Türkiye-EU Business Dialogue Project (TEBD) was held in İstanbul with the participation of EUROCHAMBRES Vice President and TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, EUROCHAMBRES CEO Ben Butters and Head of the European Union Delegation to Türkiye Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut.

In his speech, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, stating that within the scope of the project, Chambers and Commodity Exchanges from Turkish and EU member countries were matched, and in this way, they made a significant contribution to the development of the service capacity of the Turkish Chamber and Commodity Exchange system, to the establishment of connections with their counterparts in EU member states and to the establishment of a working environment together.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that many events were organized to inform the business world about the European Union acquis and said, “We have included the issue of green transformation among the project priorities. We worked with the sectors that will be most affected under the green transformation agenda. We have also reported the results of our work on this issue. At the same time, we conducted field studies revealing views on Türkiye-EU economic relations. We have applied separate surveys to the enterprises of EU member countries and the companies in our country.In these studies, we have once again determined the depth of Türkiye-EU economic integration. We confirmed that the business world continues to support the development of Türkiye-EU economic relations. With the participation of our Minister of Trade and the European Commission Member responsible for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, we held the Türkiye-EU High Level Business Dialogue meeting. In short, thanks to the Project, we have once again demonstrated the willingness of Türkiye-EU business circles to work together with tangible applications.”

- Effects of the war in Ukraine

TOBB President and EUROCHAMBRES Vice President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that as the business world, Türkiye and EU member states are dealing with similar problems, and that the war in Ukraine has made life very difficult for everyone. Hisarcıklıoğlu said that high inflation, energy supply and energy prices directly affect societies and economies negatively, “In this process, we, as the Turkish business world, think that it is very important that we are in solidarity with the EU business world. As you know, Türkiye is a candidate country for EU membership. The customs union between the EU and Türkiye forms the strong basis of our bilateral trade. In the last quarter century, our mutual trade volume has increased 4 times. As of 2022, Türkiye-EU trade in goods has reached $196 billion. The EU is Türkiye's largest export and import partner. Around a quarter of our imports originate from the EU. Approximately 41% of Türkiye's exports are made to the EU. Türkiye is the 6th largest trading partner of the EU. The EU also ranks first in foreign investments in Türkiye. As the business community, we can do much more. In this regard, we need the support of our Government and the European Commission. To this end, I believe that it is important to expand the scope of the customs union and improve its functioning.Therefore, negotiations on the modernization of the customs union should be started as soon as possible.

Türkiye's green and digital transformation will also contribute to the customs union negotiations and the Türkiye-EU Economic Integration process.  The difficulties experienced in obtaining visas for business people adversely affect the rate of increase in our trade volume. The problem needs to be solved urgently. On the other hand, in our Türkiye-EU trade, road transport provides a serious logistical advantage for fast goods delivery.

However, existing transport quotas delay the delivery of imported and exported goods. They also increase costs. We need to solve the problem of road transport quotas.”

- Other conversations

Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Head of the European Union Delegation to Türkiye, said, “The last 4 years have been difficult. We have worked with Türkiye on the green transformation. The pandemic has also shown us how important the EU single market is. It has been very important for us that services and goods continue to circulate. The EU single market is home to 24 million companies. It represents 30 percent of world trade. The Single Market has made the EU a global power. Türkiye is a part of the single market. Türkiye plays an important role in the EU's value chain.

Our policies must also be harmonized in order for the integration between the EU and Türkiye to continue strongly. In areas such as green transformation. The private sector must be guided by the new rules introduced by policymakers. We attach great importance to the dialogue between the business community. The Turkish business community is also very active in European business organizations.”

EUROCHAMBRES CEO Ben Butters gave information about the Project in his speech. Butters said, “Trade is important. Economy has begun to strain us all. When we say trade is important, we need to do what it requires. As EUROCHAMBRES, we attach importance to this. We are trying to get to know each other for trade with our Turkish partners. We have complex global supply chains. These are ossified systems which formed over the years. It is necessary to rearrange them. There are also newly emerging concepts. These are concepts for moving supply systems closer and simplifying the supply chain. What is important for us is to be in a functional process with Türkiye. The EU is close with Türkiye. We will be able to mutually develop our trade through dialogue projects related to Türkiye and the EU business world. Studies were carried out regarding SMEs. We have informed our members. Economic integration among business communities is very important to us.We tried to increase cooperation. We will continue to work in potential areas such as green transformation and digital transformation.”

- What is TEBD?

The Türkiye-EU Business Dialogue (TEBD) project, carried out in cooperation with the Union of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), provides opportunities to develop business dialogue by supporting the Chambers of Commerce and Industry / Commodity Exchanges from Türkiye and the EU with a series of activities and conducting activities.

The TEBD project, which promotes the integration of the European Union and Turkish business communities, raises greater awareness of the opportunities, business opportunities and challenges provided by Türkiye-EU relations and the modernization of the Customs Union between Türkiye and the EU.

250 Chambers and Commodity Exchanges participated in various programs within the scope of the TEBD project. Grants were provided between 30 Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges and 28 Chambers from 12 EU member states for twinning projects.

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