Bosses give full backing to peace bid in Cizre trip

Bosses give full backing to peace bid in Cizre trip

CİZRE - Anatolia News Agency
Bosses give full backing to peace bid in Cizre trip

Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) members dance during their visit to conflict-ridden southeastern province of Şırnak’s Cizre district. DHA photo

More than 100 Turkish businesspeople gave signals of new investments amid the peace process at the Turkish Industry and Business Association’s (TÜSİAD) meeting held yesterday at the Red Madrasah in Cizre in the southeastern province of Şırnak.

“We believed that the investment environment of the [eastern and southeastern Anatolian] region would improve more day by day thanks to the peace process. We [the members of TÜSİAD] are here to invest in the peace process,” Muharrem Yılmaz, the head of TÜSİAD, said yesterday.

Income per capita decreased in southeastern Anatolia between 2008 and 2011, according to the latest report of the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED). “This has unfortunately resulted in many social problems, particularly an intensive emigration flow from the region. We have all observed inefficient educational and business infrastructure and high amounts of unemployment in the region,” Süleyman Onatça, the head of TÜRKONFED, said at the meeting, adding that the private sector must make more investment in the region for sustainable growth.

TÜSİAD had announced its Cizre meeting May 30. It was widely known that Tarkan Kadooğlu, who is from Cizre and a member of TÜSİAD’s executive committee as well as head of the executive board of the Southeastern Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Federation, was one of the masterminds behind the meeting.

“We are all in the same boat. Just as we were all on Noah’s Ark on our way to a new world with our all faults, good and bad work centuries ago, we can do this today in Cizre, where Noah’s Ark is believed to have passed through,” Kadooğlu said.

He added that much more investment was needed to maintain peace in the region.

New investments expected

“I have invested around $50 million to $60 million in the region building hospitals, schools etc. I am now very happy to announce I will make new investments here that will move forward in three to five months. I believe other TÜSİAD members will do this, too,” Kadooğlu said.

Many other TÜSİAD members have declared their intent to invest in the region before, including TÜSİAD head Muharrem Yılmaz, who is also the founder of Sütaş. TÜSİAD members exchanged their ideas on how investments could be done there through a series of open panels.

Turkey adopted a new geographical region and industry-based state incentive system June 20, 2012, and the Turkish Ministry of Economy announced the first annual economic results of the new system last week. Provinces are ranked in terms of social and economic development and are categorized in six groups in terms of incentive priority.

The number of certified subsidized investments has increased to 566 in the eastern and southeastern provinces in the first five months of 2013, from 310 in the same period last year, according to the Turkish Ministry of Economy. The number of new jobs has increased from 10,000 to 26,000, and the amount of fixed direct investments has risen fourfold to 8.1 billion Turkish Liras.