Hamburg Ticaret Odasında düzenlenen "2nd Hamburg Business Forum Turkey" toplantısında yapılan konuşma

Mehmet Fatih Ak 11.11.2013

Dear Mrs Süssmuth, Dear Ole Freiherr von Beust, Dear Mr Erimtan, Dear Mrs Sailer-Schuster, Dear Mr Baltacı,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to participate in the “2nd Hamburg Business Forum Turkey” and to be given the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience.

About two weeks ago we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Our country has witnessed amazing achievements and experienced a multi-dimensional transformation. The Republic of Turkey is a success story; and we are sure that the achievements of the previous nine decades are a guarantee for more prosperity, development and freedom in the coming years.

Thanks to sound macroeconomic policies, Turkey realized in the last years an exemplary economic growth. Prudent fiscal policies, major structural reforms in various areas and improvement of institutional quality have also contributed heavily to the transition experienced in our country. Confidence and stability are the core values which enabled a sound and convincing implementation of these reforms in the past years.

Turkey offers excellent conditions for sustainable economic growth and is a top destination for enduring and profitable investments. Other participants will further elaborate on different aspects, will give detailed information and try to complete the picture in the coming sessions.

Distinguished Guests,

Turkey’s EU membership prospects have gained a new dimension when our country obtained candidate status in December 2004 at the Luxembourg Summit.

In this respect, we welcome the opening of the negotiations on “Chapter 22-Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments” at the Intergovernmental Conference at Ministerial level held in Brussels last week. Currently, 13 chapters are being subject of negotiations within the framework of EU accession talks.

Opening of Chapter 22 is an important first step in the revitalization of our negotiation process after a nearly 3 year interval. However, in order to register progress in our accession negotiations, our primary expectation is that the blockages on chapters that have been introduced with political considerations would also be lifted immediately and thereby all other chapters be opened to negotiations.

I want to reiterate that full EU membership is a clear strategic goal, and will continue to be a top priority for Turkey in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Turkey is the 16th largest economy in the world, and the 6th largest compared to the 28 EU countries in terms of GDP at purchasing power parity in 2012.

Automotive, machinery & equipment, mining, renewable energy, IT, logistics and ambitious infrastructure projects are just some areas of interest for foreign investors, especially German companies.

In the coming years Turkey plans to annually invest 4 % of its GDP in transportation infrastructure. Besides the new airport in Istanbul, designed to accommodate initially 90 million passengers a year, new sea ports and highways are planned. New railroads are also in the project pipeline, till 2020 about 23 billion USD of investments in this area are planned.

Turkey’s electric energy consumption will be doubled in 2020. We aim to increase the share of renewable energy in total production to 30 % as of 2020. Also, targeted installed wind energy capacity by the same year is 20,000 Megawatt at minimum. Private Public Partnership (PPP) is the key model for realizing these projects.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Turkey`s significance and gravity in International Relations have clearly increased in the last years as well. Turkey plays a more active role in the UN, NATO, OECD and G-20. Simultaneously, we fully developed a strong regional network of cooperation and partnerships. With the utilization of its soft power, Turkey is enhancing its influence and is contributing to the transition process of a whole region. In a sense Turkey is accompanying and assisting these countries in their evolution; values and concepts like globalisation, free market economy and human rights have an explicit pre-eminence in respect to these supporting activities.

Turkey is now an emerging donor nation. Across the OECD we are the country which is increasing its overseas aid at the fastest rate. Most of this global aid goes to education, healthcare and technical training. More than one hundred countries so far have been provided aid. To transition countries in Middle-East and Africa; so far we have provided the financing of 2.8 billion dollars, 1.4 billion already disbursed, and we are also providing technical training.

The fundament for this growing influence is definitely our economic success.

Distinguished guests,

Taking this opportunity, I am glad to inform you that we will host in March 2014, Senatör Frank Horsch and Minister Reinhard Meyer, Minister for Economic Affairs of Schleswig Holstein, in Turkey along with a business delegation from both states. I have no doubt that this visit will open new avenues of cooperation between Turkey and the both States in various sectors. I would like to underline the fact that the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Hamburg exceeded 1,7 billion Euros in 2012, which is well above Turkey’s bilateral trade with some European countries. I believe that on this solid basis there is still great room for further expanding this relation, especially in the field of joint investments both in Turkey and the North Germany.

In this respect, I hope that this forum will give us new clues for this historic visit.

Lastly, I wish to express my gratitude to EMA for organising this event, The Chamber of Commerce Hamburg and of course ISPAT for their essential assistance and cooperation. I also thank all participants and guests for their contribution and interest. I also wish the participating businesspeople productive networking and all out-of-towners a pleasant stay in the wonderful City of Hamburg.

Thank you.

Pazartesi - Cuma

09:00 - 12:00 / 14:00 - 16:00

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