April 13, 2009
Hurriyet Daily News
ISTANBUL - More 2,000 Turkish businessmen working abroad came together in Istanbul on Friday urging for more effective cooperation between the state and the Turkish entrepreneurs active all over the world.
The two-day, World Conference of Turkish Entrepreneurs, organized by the Council of Foreign Economic Relations, or DEIK, began Friday with inauguration speeches by prominent businessmen and representatives of the government.
While there are 12 Turkish firms among Europe’s 500 biggest enterprises and 24 among the 100 enterprises of the Islamic world, there are no Turkish firms among the world’s biggest 500 enterprises, said Nazim Ekren, deputy prime minister responsible for the economy.
“We want to increase the number of Turkish firms which will rank among the biggest 500 firms in the world,” he said. The government will pursue production and growth friendly monetary and fiscal policies, according to Ekren. He reiterated the government’s aim to make Istanbul a regional and global finance center. Rifat Hisarciklioglu called on Turkish businessmen working abroad however to cooperate more among themselves and not see each other only as rivals. He also asked the gathering to think big saying “there is not just Germany, there is Europe; there is not just Europe but the world.”
Hisarciklioglu encouraged the younger generations to learn not just English but other languages like Russian or Chinese, and also asked Turkish businessmen abroad to participate in local politics. “There are elections for European Parliament in June. You should run for these elections. You should make your weight felt in Europe,” he said. The representatives of the Turkish business community abroad have in their turned asked to have more coordinated policies between the state and the business world.
“I don’t know what the policies of my government are in Central Asia,” said Zeki Pilge a businessmen active in Kazakhistan.
Concerned about the absence of a communication network among the business community abroad, Vural Oger, a German member of the European Parliament, underlined the need to develop strategies to use the potential of the Turkish diaspora abroad.
Tuzmen: “There are talks about Turkey being a super power” State Minister Kursat Tuzmen claimed that there is talk in the international community that Turkey will be a super power in the new world order and therefore, the world’s attention turned to the nation.