World Economic Forum convenes with focus on Turkey

World Economic Forum convenes with focus on Turkey

World Economic Forum convenes with focus on Turkey

Turkish EU minister Volkan Bozkır speaks at the World Economic Forum's special meeting in Istanbul. AA Photo

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) two-day special meeting in Istanbul kicked off Sept. 29 with the aim of shining light on Turkey’s transition against the backdrop of regional challenges.

In addition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who delivered the keynote speech at the event, the meeting is hosting politicians, academics, business executives and journalists from various countries, including Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and former U.K. Prime Minister and WEF Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative chair Gordon Brown.

Speaking at the opening press conference of the organization, Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkır said “the problems of the 21th century require much deeper cooperation” and underlines “the importance of dialogue,” expressing his belief that “the forum will give a new vision and a lot of new ideas to us.”
The minister also asserted the reasons for the decision to choose Turkey as the host of the event.

“Turkey is located at the heart of the African and European region. It is interlocked between various challenges and the biggest opportunities. Around 99.9 percent of the Turkish population is Muslim. At the same time, it comes to the forefront as a democratic country that respects the superiority of law and has sustained a free market economy for years. In addition to all these, being a country proceeding toward EU membership makes Turkey unique and distinguishes it from others,” he said.

The Geneva-based organization said it arranged the Unlocking Resources for Regional Development meeting to provide “an opportunity for senior global and regional stakeholders to better understand, adapt to and shape national and regional transformations by engaging with key economic decision-makers and other leaders from business, government and civil society.”

The forum said Turkey’s first-ever direct presidential elections in August as well as its upcoming assumption of the G-20 presidency in December would create new opportunities for shaping both the domestic and international agendas.

The future of the region and Turkey’s G-20 presidency, the shifting energy dynamic across the region, building entrepreneurial and inclusive economies as well as infrastructure as a platform for physical and digital growth had been set as the four main topics of the meeting.

“Over the two days of the meeting in Istanbul, participants will have the chance to build national and cross-regional initiatives and alliances, thereby unlocking underemployed economic resources for the benefit of all,” the organization also said.