Leaders pledge closer ties
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Deputy PM Ali Babacan (3nd L), Republic of Macedonia President Gjorge Ivanov (3rd R) and Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı (2nd R) pose for cameras at the Istanbul Business Forum. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Some 1,000 business leaders from 87 countries across the world gathered at the TOBB Business Forum in Istanbul yesterday, underlining the rising role of global cooperation in the fight against economic woes.
Panel discussions at the event hosted by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) focused on the growing position of the private sector during a period of global economic crisis and recession that is dominating the world’s trade environment.
President of The Republic of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı and TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu addressed the audience at the opening of the event.
International economic cooperation is the only way to boost global competition, said Ivanov in his speech. “This cooperation strengthens national trade competition for it to race with under global economic conditions,” he said.
While Babacan underlined the importance of political leadership in the economy, the unrest in Syria topped Yazıcı’s speech. Hisarcıklıoğlu, meanwhile, emphasized the risks posed by youth unemployment.
American Chamber of Commerce Executives President Mick Fleming said efforts to begin working together again would be more fruitful than focusing on the crisis.
The eurozone crisis has started affecting the emerging economies of South America, even if such an impact is limited, Ambrosia Bertolotti, president of the Ibero-American Association of Chambers of Commerce, said while speaking at the “Continents’ Views on the Global Crisis” session. “We have recently been seeing an inflation pressure but taking measures against it.”
Thailand Trade Council President Phongsak Assakul also highlighted the role of international partnerships, noting that trade among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would increase thanks to a possible easing of customs procedures.
Gulf likes Turkish TV series
Federation of Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers Khalil bin Abdullah al-Khonji said his country, Oman, was focusing on domestic investment opportunities during the crisis rather than waiting for foreign capital. Al-Khonji called on businessmen from the Gulf and Turkey to cooperate more. Gulf countries are closely interested in Turkish TV series, he said while asking for Turkey to liberalize visas for visitors from these nations.
Russia Federation Chamber of Trade and Industry Vice President Georgy Petrov said some 3 million people from his country visited Turkey last year after the mutual lifting of visas. Greek Union of Chambers of Trade Unions President Constantine Michalos also said the latest crisis had proved that the eurozone was not prepared to fight with a financial crisis.