The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu participated in the opening of the Turkish Business and Investment Forum and gave a speech in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan.
In his speech, Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that they are a single nation spanning 6 different countries. “We boast an economic volume 1.1 trillion USD, 560 billion USD foreign trade volume and a population 160million. So when we get together, we become a global force. On the other hand, when we look at our trade with each other, we cannot reach a large volume. The trade of 6 countries with each other has reached only 9 billion USD. It is in our hands to increase this figure again. Because trade means development and people's prosperity. Hopefully, together with the Turkic CCI, this figure will increase rapidly.”
Reporting that Turkey has invested approximately 15 billion USD into the Turkic Council member countries, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the investment of said countries into Turkey is about 8 billion USD. Additionally, Turkish contractors have taken on 970 projects valued at a total of 39 billion USD and that they want to increase these figures.
Hisarcıklıoğlu, stating that Turkey offers investment opportunities in many areas of trade, said, “We are a part of the Customs Union with the EU, also have FTAs with 19 countries. We are among the most important suppliers in Europe in many sectors such as automotive, home appliances, textiles, construction materials. 80% of cars produced in Turkey, 70% of home appliances, of machinery are exported to Europe. We are among the most important producers in Europe in food, cement, shipbuilding and chemistry.”
Noting that Turkey ranks second in overseas construction sector in the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that in the last year, Turkish companies have undertaken 261 projects abroad valued at 19 billion USD, in a myriad of fields including power plants, highways, tunnels, bridges, military and industrial facilities, at the highest quality and at appropriate costs.
Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Turkey is the world's second largest importer of petrochemicals, petrochemical products, offering great opportunities to investors.
- “We must write an EU-like success story”
Underlining Turkey's developed infrastructure providing access to and Europe, Africa and Central Asia thanks to its central geographical position, its investor-friendly legislation, attractive business and investment opportunities, the TOBB President went on, “In many areas, we can make joint trade and investment. We can also work together in third countries. China, for example, is among the world's largest food importers, importing 120 billion USD of food each year. By acting together, especially in food and other sectors, we can be much more active in the Chinese market.
There's another reason I'm constantly emphasizing trade. Whichever country is developing in the world, has done so by increasing trade. Look where Europe came to from the ruins of 2 great world wars. They established economic unity among themselves, ended conflicts and wars, thus increasing trade and prospering together. Why trade? Because trade is the biggest source of peace and prosperity. Therefore, we must first remove trade barriers between our countries and increase trade with each other.
We have to write an EU-like success story. For example, people do not trade in countries they have difficulty accessing, but in countries they can easily reach. After trade is established, they’ll invest and establish partnerships. So, we need to identify and remove any obstacles that make trade difficult, such as visas. Believing and beginning are the first half of the journey; let’s take the first step, the rest will follow.”
Stating that, “As the Turkish private sector, we want to do more business and investment with you,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “There is a wide field suitable for this. We established the Turkic CCI in order to realize this potential. If the people of this geography are to prosper, the businessmen of this geography will make it happen. So we have to work together, rise together. Let's act and win as brothers. We should both develop our bilateral trade and open to cooperating in third countries through joint investments. I believe that this forum will contribute to us in this direction.”
- “We must increase trade relations”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan, Cemşid Koçkarov, recalled that the country is carrying out extensive reforms in the structural and economic fields and that important works have been carried out to improve the business and investment environment of the country. Koçkarov reported that foreign investment has increased by 22%, reaching 34 billion USD, while the number of foreign capital establishments has tripled, reaching 8,000.
Speaking at the forum, the Secretary General of the Turkic Council Baghdad Amreyev stressed the importance of Uzbekistan's membership in the Turkish Council and said, “This decision of the President of Uzbekistan, Shevket Mirziyoyev, is a historic decision. We are very pleased that this decision coincides with the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Nakhichevan Agreement and the 7th Summit of the Turkic Council. The relations between Uzbekistan and other Turkish-speaking countries will expand further under the unifying banner of the Turkic Council.”
Amreyev said that the common purpose of the forum gatherings was to further improve the economies of Turkic-speaking countries and the commercial-economic and other relations between these countries, adding that he believes the forum will be useful.
President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov recalled that President Mirziyoyev proposed to hold a Turkic Business and Investment Forum in Tashkent at the 6th Turkic Council Summit held in Cholpan-Ata city of Kyrgyzstan last year.
Expressing that Turkic-speaking countries are important trade partners of Uzbekistan, Ikramov recalled that more than 2,500 foreign enterprises were established in Uzbekistan today with the participation of businessmen of these countries.
In addition to TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu, Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Elyor Ganiyev, Secretary General of the Turkic Council Bagdat Amrayev, Ambassadors; Adham Ikramov, Chairman of ASK Mammad Musayev, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan CCI President Marat Sarsekeeva, Turkey's leading businessmen, Hungarian CCI representative as well as exchange / chamber presidents also attended the Forum.