Eurasia Economy Summit opens with focus on global inequalities
The 17th Eurasia Economy Summit kicked off on Feb 5. DHA photohe 17th Eurasian Economy Summit kicked off yesterday with speeches that allowed participants to catch a glimpse of various aspects of the theme of “glocalization” that will be discussed throughout the two-day summit.
The keynote speaker, Marmara Group Foundation President Dr. Akkan Suver, delivered the inauguration speech, placing particular emphasis on the revitalization of the Silk Road, which is embraced as a philosophy by the Marmara Group, and the policies required to be adopted by all nations of the Eurasia geography to enable them to attain their national potentials.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda and United Nations High Representative to the Alliance of Civilizations Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser were the foreign guests at the ceremony.
In addition to Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu, who delivered a speech on behalf of Turkey, Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, Chairman of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce İbrahim Çağlar, Chairman of İzmir Chamber of Commerce Ekrem Demirtaş had chances to put forward some aspects of establishing a “glocal” point of view. The acting president of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), Ali Rıza Arslan, and the chairman of the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Associations (İHKIB), Hikmet Demirtaş, also addressed participants in brief speeches.
“The summit will tackle the question of how to reshape Eurasia amid the continuing crisis of globalization,” Suver said during the opening ceremony, which included a number of prominent foreign guests, as well as local government representatives of Turkey.
Suver stressed that the summit’s panel will be exploring solutions to settle the specific dilemma of the economy and trade with respect to the Silk Road and the vitality of international political cooperation in this bid.
“The economic development without political aspects will cause a crisis,” Suver warned in his speech, calling for special attention to be paid toward energy within this framework.
He said the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) projects had especially expanded the cooperation level of the countries involved to a new degree and that they held great significance and offered massive potential in shaping new power balances and a new order.
“We attach great importance to Shah Deniz as it will be expanded to make Turkey and Caucasia energy hubs,” he said.
Therefore these energy importation links will prompt “political stability and economic welfare to reach new potentials,” according to Suver. The Marmara Group chairman also touched upon some other key issue that will be explored and debated throughout the summit, including the importance of informatics as a sustainable bridge, women’s participation at all levels and commercialization of new, innovative ideas.
He said the poverty and inequality in the world prevented democracy from being internalized in countries, including Turkey.
Suver ended his words stressing the importance the Marmara Group attaches to Turkey’s European Union membership bid and its relations with the bloc.
“Turkey is a part of Europe, and I believe it will celebrate the Republic Day of Turkey in 2023 as a member of the EU,” he said.
Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who was among last year’s speakers, sent a saluting message addressing the organizers and the participants of the summit.
“The global issues that will be addressed in this year’s summit require all participants to discuss them in details and with cooperation,” the president’s message said. A message from Azerbaijan President İham Aliyev was also conveyed during the ceremony, voiced by Ali Hasanov, head of the Political Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan.
In his message, Aliyev placed emphasis on the importance of developed energy, in particular, pipeline projects in the revitalization of Silk Road and the establishment of welfare in the Eurasian region.
“I hope the summit will yield fruitful results,” he said in his speech, urging the countries to boost their efforts to consolidate cooperation.
'Wealth and poverty at same time'
High U.N. representative Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser also drew attention to Turkey’s “eclectic mix of culture and population that provided basis of country’s growth as well.”
“Istanbul is a great cultural of Europe and crucial link between East and West, both Christianity and Islam,” he said, praising Turkey’s role in the summit which has been held for “enhancing of relations between Europe, Caucasia and Middle East.”
In his remarks, al-Nasser strongly asserted the world is experiencing a time of “contradiction and paradox” more than ever.
“We are living great wealth and great poverty at the same time in the modern world,” he said.
Warning about the challenges that had erupted from the struggle over water and energy to acquire peace and stability, al-Nasser called for increased cooperation and peace and also to be sensitive to the needs of disadvantageous groups, particularly in the parts of the world Turkey is a part of.
“It must be our task to use our great wealth to address our problems,” he further said, recalling major responsibilities of political leaders of the world as well as representatives of civil society and local government administrators.
To counter tension springing from marginalization and discrimination requires education and tolerance as well as the important input of various actors in the form of civil society, political institutions and the media, he said.
Through the means of “thinking globally and acting local,” the participants of the summit must take advantage of this platform as a tool to engage in fruitful discussions that would further lead to effective action, he also stressed.
Speaking at the ceremony as well, Mutlu welcomed all foreign and Turkish politicians and businessmen attending the forum, expressing his gratitude to the organizers for establishing such a summit.
“Istanbul represents dynamism, history and culture of Turkey,” he said, particularly highlighting history as a key characteristic of the city that boosted its global and regional value.
He mentioned the under-sea tunnel Marmaray that was inaugurated a few months ago with a fanfare ceremony, saying the project not only raised the number of passengers carried a day within the city to 1 million, but also proved the roots of the city thanks to artifacts discovered during the construction.
He also said Turkey paid attention to both global and local developments to achieve peace.
Chairman of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, İbrahim Çağlar, focused on the changes Turkey and the globe witnessed in his address, dubbing “globalization, change and speed” as three concepts to define the developments of the past 10 years.
He positioned Istanbul as the capital of these changes because of its regional centrality. “Istanbul has the potential to serve billions of people in the nearby geography,” he said.