IHKİB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi (2nd L) receives an award at the opening ceremony of the Eurasian Economy Summit as Akkan Suver (2nd L) stands aside him. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
The 15th Eurasian Economy Summit was launched yesterday with an opening ceremony in Istanbul that was attended by hundreds of high-profile politicians and business leaders.
Guests including four presidents and dozens of ministers from around 40 countries gathered to kick off the bronze anniversary of the summit, which is organized by the Marmara Group Foundation.
Albanian President Bamir Topi, Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, Montenegran President Filip Vujanovic and Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia Gov. Mihail Formuzal were among the attendees at the gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and Marmara Group Foundation President Akkan Suver were also present.
Engin Köklüçınar, the secretary-general of the Marmara Group, noted that he was honored to preside over the night.
Summit guests enjoyed a fashion show organized by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Union (İHKİB) following a gala dinner.
They also attended a concert by Azerbaijani singing duo Eldar and Nigar, winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.
İHKİB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi said this year’s summit was important due to its basis in civil society.
“An independent nongovernmental organization is behind the summit, which makes it special and unique. It’s only sponsorship support that makes it possible every year. The presidents and ministers of Turkey’s neighboring countries annually participate in these summits. This strengthens our economic and social ties with them, which lets us integrate more and more,” Tanrıverdi said on the sidelines of the summit.
İHKİB has been supporting the event for the last five years.
The first day of the summit today will end with the president’s session at the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Center.
Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek, European Union Minister Egemen Bağış, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin and Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay are also scheduled to attend the three-day event.
Participants will discuss key regional topics such as energy, the economy, management, intercultural dialogue, the environment, education, women and poverty during the summit’s sessions.
Leading think tanks, such as the Bled Strategic Forum, the China Human Rights Foundation, the Balkan Political Club, the Vienna Economic Forum, the Balkan Peace Club, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and the German Foreign Affairs Association are also taking part in the summit.