MÜSİAD picks new chairman at assembly

MÜSİAD picks new chairman at assembly

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
MÜSİAD picks new chairman at assembly

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (3rd right), MÜSİAD Chairman Nail Olpak (2nd right). and former chairman Ömer Cihad Vardan (3rd left) pose for cameras at the assembly. AA photo

Nail Olpak, the former deputy chairman of the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) replaced Ömer Cihad Vardan as chairman on April 28 at the end of an assembly where nearly 4,000 businessmen were in attendance. Olpak was elected unanimously.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the assembly along with many prominent Cabinet ministers including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, EU Minister Egemen Bağış, Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Industry Minister Nihat Ergün and Education Minister Ömer Dinçer. The prime minister said in his opening speech that MÜSİAD has maintained a principled stance on Turkey’s democratization and development of democratic standards since its inception, according to Anatolia news agency. “I believe with all my heart that MÜSİAD will support us and make contributions to us in future, as it has in the past,” he said.

He said the government will always protect the national will and expected businessmen, industrialists, tradesmen, merchants and exporters to do the same.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), gave a speech at the event saying MÜSİAD has acted as a school for entrepreneurs in Anatolia. Vardan has made the association more active both in Turkey and abroad, he added.

The new head of MÜSİAD said the association will continue its activities protecting its past but also claiming the best for the future without forgetting the values of the nation.

Outgoing president Vardan said many successful ministers, deputies, civil servants and academics have emerged from MÜSİAD.

MÜSİAD has struggled against many hardships and told the truth under all conditions for the last 22 years, he said.

MÜSİAD member businesses make up 15 percent of Turkey’s total exports and produce $105 billion of the national income, he said, adding that those businesses employ about 1.2 million people.