Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Hisarcıklıoğlu requested industrial zone for business world’s investment appetite

15.05.2024 / Ankara

Within the scope of the 80th Financial General Assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) to be held in Ankara, the Certificate of Service Honor Plaque Ceremony was held at TOBB Twin Towers with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and Chamber/Exchange Presidents.​

Minister of Family and Social Services Mahinur Özdemir Göktaş, Minister of Labor and Social Security Vedat Işıkhan, Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Aşkın Bak, Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Minister of Trade Ömer Bolat, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry İbrahim Yumaklı and AK Party Deputy Chairman Efkan Ala also attended the program.

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said in his speech here that they support the new policies initiated in the economy and that they welcome the savings package in the public sector.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that TOBB has become the service center of the real sector with the efforts and efforts of the chambers and exchanges. Stating that the Union has turned into an exemplary institution admired by the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that these have been achieved through unity of hands, heart and mind.

Emphasizing that President Erdoğan has always shown his support to the Turkish business world, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Under your leadership, many regulations that facilitate the business and investment environment and reduce the burdens on us have been implemented. Our dream of Türkiye’s Automobile, which we achieved a historic success, became a reality under your vision and patronage.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu thanked President Erdoğan for the humanitarian aid provided by Türkiye to Gaza and said that the solution-oriented approach also gave great morale to the business world.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that there has been continuous consultation on the solutions and suggestions of the real sector and steps have been taken to facilitate the business environment, increase competitiveness and thus accelerate growth. Pointing out that Türkiye has a 4-year election-free period ahead, Hisarcıklıoğlu made the following assessment:

“The next 4-year period without elections is a serious opportunity to realize structural reforms. The new policies initiated in the economy under your leadership are the right steps in this direction and we support them. In particular, we see your goal of ridding our country of the scourge of high inflation as very important. Because when inflation rises, our competitiveness decreases, we cannot manage costs or make budgets. In this context, we welcome the savings package in the public sector announced two days ago. “

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the process will have certain difficulties, but the goal of becoming a stronger and more competitive economy will definitely be achieved.

- “We think that our community more than deserves a green passport”

Stating that there is a growing problem in access to finance, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that affirmative action could be made for SMEs and the market could be relieved by excluding them from credit limitations.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that a new credit support system could be established for small businesses that are members of chambers of commerce and industry, and that installment and limit restrictions on commercial credit cards could be removed.

Pointing out that expanding the industry and protecting it against earthquake risk is another important issue, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We cannot find a place for the industry, especially in OIZs, to grow. This raises land prices. It makes industrial investments costly and difficult. The area allocated to industry in the total surface area of many of our competitors is around 3 percent. In our case, it is far below 1 percent. There is a great appetite for investment, but we cannot find a location. We are waiting for expansion areas for industry to be produced from barren, hillside areas that are not suitable for agriculture.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that a new industrial basin should be established on the Central Anatolia-Eastern Mediterranean line against the risk of earthquakes, and that with this move, both the urban transformation of Marmara can be accelerated and space can be opened for new high-tech investments in Marmara.

Emphasizing that the revitalization of Türkiye-European Union relations with the progress to be achieved in positive agenda items will also benefit Türkiye, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the updating of the Customs Union, green and digital transformation are the most concrete positive agenda areas.

Hisarcıklıoğlu also noted the following regarding visa and transit quotas:

“There is one issue that continues to upset us. We keep the leaders of this whole struggle waiting in visa queues. Let’s facilitate the foreign contacts of the opinion leaders of the private sector so that we can pave the way. Therefore, we think that our chamber and commodity exchange community also deserves a green passport. We believe that good news will come from you, who always stand by the real sector.”

- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “The electric vehicle market has gained a great momentum in the last year. We see that Far Eastern countries are aggressively entering the market. After many years, we did not miss the train and the trend this time.”

President Erdoğan attended the 80th General Assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) at the Twin Towers.

Emphasizing that today it is better understood what a strategic move TOGG was, which was brought to Türkiye despite various sabotage attempts, Erdoğan stated that the electric vehicle market has gained a great momentum in the last year.

“We see that Far Eastern countries are aggressively entering the market,” President Erdoğan said:

“After many years, this time we did not miss the train and the trend. With our local and national brand TOGG, we said ‘we are also in the electric vehicle sector’, which is developing rapidly. As you know, we did not only struggle with financial difficulties at that time. Rather, we struggled with learned helplessness that was engraved in minds. They tried very hard to tear down the project in its infancy. They tried every means to discredit the project by criticizing everything from its factory to its design. Whatever is being said today about our National Fighter Jet KAAN, whatever slander is being thrown at our unmanned aerial vehicles and their manufacturers, whoever is stepping in to undermine the moves that will take Türkiye to the next level in the economy, we witnessed all of these and more during the electric vehicle manufacturing process. But we did not pay attention to any of these. We said, ‘If others can do it, why can’t we?’ We said, ‘If others can produce it, why can’t we?’ With your efforts, we have taken our place in electric vehicle technology much earlier than many countries in the world. From now on, we will continue to work together with you in other projects of our country.”

- “We will be able to allocate more resources to the real agenda of our nation”

Erdoğan reminded that they came together with the members of TOBB after the May 28 elections last year, and said that they held today’s general assembly following the March 31 Local Administrations Elections.

Stating that the three elections held one after the other in the last year have exhausted the business world, President Erdoğan emphasized that 2023 is a very challenging year for the Turkish economy.

Erdoğan said, “Unfortunately, our country could not get rid of the election atmosphere. Again during this period, conflicts erupted in our region, especially the Gaza crisis, which directly affected our country. It is a fact that the election agenda alone slowed down the bureaucracy, investments and future plans of our business world. With the March 31st elections behind us, we have hopefully entered a four-year election-free period. From now on, we will be able to focus more on our main issues and allocate more time and resources to the real agenda of our nation.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “All our public administrations and personnel must comply with the austerity measures without exception. We are making a perspective that demands accountability for every penny spent. Thus, we will be able to use the resources of our country much more efficiently and in priority areas.”

Stating that he had given instructions to increase the culture of savings and efficiency and that the economy management was conducting a comprehensive study on this issue, Erdoğan said, “We are a government that has always paid attention to the protection of public property in the last 21 years. We proved this sensitivity by not compromising on fiscal discipline and keeping the average budget deficit to national income ratio at 2.4 percent. Now we are taking this to the next level.”

- Erdoğan green lights green passports for chamber and commodity exchange presidents

During the award presentation ceremony, President Erdoğan said about the green passport: “These 20 years have been a source of excitement for us. Because of this excitement, we also discussed the passport issue with our Foreign Minister. Hopefully, if I am not mistaken, about 365 chamber and commodity exchange presidents will receive green passports. May it be auspicious; they will have the opportunity to use the green passport during the time they are in office.”

- Trade Minister Ömer Bolat

Trade Minister Ömer Bolat said that they are working within the framework of legal legislation on sectors and products, especially basic food and necessities, where citizens and honest traders may be victimized and the market balance and commercial flow may be adversely affected.

Bolat said that as a result of the right and decisive policies implemented under the leadership of President Erdoğan, the Turkish economy grew by 5.4 percent in real terms annually and has maintained uninterrupted growth for the last 14 quarters, adding that Türkiye closed last year with 4.5 percent growth, thus exceeding the Medium Term Program (MTP) target.

- “Foreign trade deficit decreased by 30.4 billion dollars in the last 10 months”

Bolat stated that the size of the Turkish economy has exceeded the 1 trillion dollar threshold for the first time in history, reaching 1 trillion 118 billion dollars and per capita income reached 13,110 dollars.

Noting that they are working in line with President Erdoğan’s instruction to “export more,” Bolat said, “To this end, we increased our exports of goods to 255.4 billion dollars with a 7-fold increase in 21 years. We increased our share in world exports of goods from 0.49 percent to 1.08 percent. We increased our exports of services from 14 billion dollars in the last 21 years to a proud figure of 101.7 billion dollars with a 7-fold increase. Thus, our share in world services exports increased from 0.89 percent to 1.3 percent.”

Bolat pointed out that the current account deficit, which was 57 billion dollars in May last year, decreased by 25.8 billion dollars in March this year to 31.2 billion dollars, the lowest value of the last 22 months, and that the foreign trade deficit decreased by 30.4 billion dollars in the last 10 months and fell to 92 billion dollars in annualized terms with a 22 percent decline.

Following the speeches, President Erdoğan presented “Honor Certificates of Service” to 58 TOBB members.

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