Message from the President of Board of Directors of TÜSİAD
"Both globally and nationally we are going through a turbulent and an extraordinary period. In order to draw an accurate and appropriate policy roadmap, there is a need for serene but extended discussions. TÜSİAD will continue to contribute to these discussions with its new projects and broad experience."
We have left behind a year of major developments. The aftershocks of the global financial crises (2008) compelled nations to take new economic measures and revise the structural elements of their economies. The European Union (EU) found itself in one of the hardest deadlocks of its history. Even though, the EU was considered to steer out of the first wave of the crises better than the US, as the previously neglected problems of the member states came to surface, its economy had to face cataclysmic levels of national debts. Meanwhile, the rest of the world contemplated the issues of the US and the EU economies.
Throughout 2011, in addition to economic challenges across the globe, changes taking place across the Middle East were equally profound. Largely viewed by other countries around the world as “frozen in time”, Arab states around the Middle East entered a period of awakening and their aspirations of democracy triggered further developments around the region.
One of the landmark items on Turkey’s national agenda was the general elections. The elections brought forth a highly representative parliament. While the dark clouds were over the global economy, Turkey outperformed many other countries and succeeded in generating high economic growth. Turkey has closely observed the series of developments shaping the Middle East and North Africa and Turkish foreign policy has become the center of attention. One of the most painful events in 2011 was the Van earthquake in Turkey. The earthquake resulted in a substantial death toll and thousands in casualties. The country is still recovering from the disaster and healing the wounds of its victims.
As a voluntary based civil society organization TÜSİAD proudly celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011. In order to shed light to the next 40 years, we conducted several projects and conferences parallel to both global and national agenda. We focused on “women” and “youth”. The first event was in January “Women in Working Life” Conference that addressed the challenges faced by women around the globe. Stressing the fact that empowering women in the economy is not a gender issue but a social subject matter concerning everyone in the community, TÜSİAD also released a short documentary on working women from different walks of life and ran an awareness campaign on the week starting March 8th.
TÜSİAD also initiated "These Young People Have the Potential!” project to encourage the university students into becoming entrepreneurs. The project featured a contest among university students, who competed with their business ideas to win TÜSİAD’s financial and advisory prize. We want to reach out to more avid youngsters in the future and support their novel ideas.
In March, TÜSİAD organized a forum titled “The State and the Individual in the 21st Century” to evaluate the democratization struggles of Turkey and numerous other countries. The conference brought together the former prime minister of Spain Felipe Gonzales, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Narcis Serra and South Africa’s leading human rights advocate Brian Currin. The panel provided us with valuable insights on the Spanish and South African experiences in human rights and democracy.
The energy issue rising in the global agenda and poses a prospective deadlock, TÜSİAD took a visionary stance in addressing energy by hosting an event on simulation models and contingency management which brought together delegates from the world’s leading nations in the energy markets. The participants debated the prospects of the global energy agenda based on given baseline scenarios. George Friedman, the founder of STRATFOR moderated the discussions of the representatives and the speeches of Taner Yıldız, Minister of Energy and Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs followed the discussions.
Upon our 40th anniversary we decided to attach special importance to sustainability and thereby released “Vision 2050 Turkey” report which provides a universal coverage and assessment of sustainability issues from the perspective of businesses and other stakeholders. If today’s consumption habits continue at this rate, than we will need 2.3 worlds by 2050. In the light of this striking fact, TÜSİAD will continue to working on sustainability related issues in the future.
TÜSİAD remained watchful of the changes taking place on the global agenda. At B20, an event which is part of the G20 Summit expressşing common views from the international business community, we closely followed the changes shaping the world economy as markets grappled against the difficulties posed by the downturn. TÜSİAD took part and raised opinions at the B20 Summit in Cannes as the representative of the Turkish business world and also moderated the session on new global governance. The B20 attended to expectations born by business associations and the private sector and communicated findings to heads of states who will in turn deal with business related agenda items at the G20 summit.
Throughout 2011 TÜSİAD concentrated on sustainable development, democratization, the new constitution, the global economy, improvement of the business and investment environment, employment and foreign policy.
With numerous publications and events economy remained a hot topic with TÜSİAD. The report titled “Constraints on Growth in Turkey: A Prioritization Study” highlighted the bottlenecks of growth and determined the priority policy areas to overcome these bottlenecks. TÜSİAD also organized several seminars on the New Turkish Commercial Code, intellectual property rights and corporate governance for family businesses to raise the awareness in the society. With the participation of politicians, experts and academicians Koç University – TÜSİAD Economic Research Forum prepared meetings on real exchange rate, economic volatility in emerging markets and monetary policy.
TÜSİAD CEO Forum is geared to enhance interaction among private sector decision makers The CEO Forum brings together CEOs and chairmen of the board of directors of corporations represented at TÜSİAD; operating primarily in manufacturing and services sectors. Thematic meetings with Mehmet Şimşek Minister of Financeand Erdem Başçı, Governor of the Central Bank of Turkey were hosted. TÜSİAD also coordinated the “Industrial Policy Forum” to support sustainable growth based policy making that aims to increase productivity. TÜSİAD members had the opportunity to share their opinions with Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister at the “Industrial Policy Round Table Meeting”.
In November, TÜSİAD once again hosted the launch of the “World Energy Outlook” report, which is a credible source on global energy trends, prepared by International Energy Agency in Turkey. The report was presented by Fatih Birol PhD., the Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency.
TÜSİAD remained forcused on Turkey’s political agenda and regularly communicated with the press to extend its views and position on the most prominent issues concerning Turkey. We attached priority to the work on constitutional reform. The outcome of the “New Constitution Round Table Discussion Series”, which brought together academicians and opinion leaders, waspublished in March. Also the viewpoints of TÜSİAD that were compiled from the previous studies of TÜSİAD on constitution and democratization submitted to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Constitutional Reconciliation Committee in December.
TÜSİAD closely followed the foreign policy agenda as well. The Bosphorus University – TÜSİAD Foreign Policy Forum had meetings on issues such as the EU, the developments in the Middle East and Cyprus. TÜSİAD kept a watchful eye on Turkey’s accession to the EU and hosted Stefan Füle, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement to evaluate the issues on Turkey – EU relations and the negotiations process for Turkey’s membership.
In 2011, TÜSİAD expanded its institutional network in the USA. “TÜSİAD Turkey - U.S. Forum” is established by signing an agreement with the Brookings Institute, one of the prominent think thanks of the USA. The forum will analyze the bilateral political, social and economic relations. Also, TÜSİAD and the US Chamber of Commerce signed a protocol and held a conference on bilateral trade relations in October at the US Congress.
The Bosphorus Institute in Paris is a TÜSİAD initiative, set out with a view to strengthening relations between Turkey and France. The institute strives to enhance cultural interface, dialogue and collaboration between the two countries. The conference in September attempted to boost dialogue on cultural, intellectual and economic matters as Turkey strives to join the European Union. The Bosphorus Institute supported the work of policy makers and French businesses on the draft law in December.
In October, TÜSİAD held the “Turkish – German CEO Forum” in Berlin. The forum brought together the representatives of German and Turkish business worlds to address the economic collaboration areas. TÜSİAD also introduced its booklet aiming to support Turkey’s publicity and giving information about Turkey’s dynamism in different fields.
The Board of Directors of TÜSİAD visit to numerous cities in Turkey and met with local business communities at the summits organized together with TÜRKONFED.
TÜSİAD remained focused on issue which might have been underappreciated elsewhere due to the pressing agenda such as the climate change. This year we were present in Durban, South Africa at the UN Climate Change Conference, representing the Turkish private sector. Following the conference, sessions with the public authorities and private sector leaders were organized to evaluate the outcomes. The Climate Platform by TÜSİAD and REC Turkey organized a conference on financing low carbon economic growth.
In order to support the progress on technology, quality and e-government implementations, “Quality” awards were given in collaboration with the Turkish Quality Association and “Technology” awards were given in collaboration with TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) and Technology Development Foundation of Turkey. The 9th e-TR Awards were given in a ceremony jointly held by TÜSİAD and the Information Technologies Foundation of Turkey at the Grand National Assembly. Politicians and representatives of the governmental bodies also have attended to the ceremony, where the correlation between e-government practices, innovation and productivity was stressed.
TÜSİAD’s periodical Görüş won extensive acclaim owing to the analytical perspective the journal has against leading agenda items. The journal is followed by an avid readership and this year featured cover stories on the shadow economy, women in politics, the energy equation in Turkey, the evolving political lanscape in the Middle East, Turkey-Israel relations and the tax reform.
Both globally and nationally we are going through a turbulent and an extraordinary period. In order to draw an accurate and appropriate policy roadmap, there is a need for serene but extended discussions. TÜSİAD will continue to contribute to these discussions with its new projects and broad experience.
President of the TÜSİAD Board of Directors
17 January 2013
11 August 2011
21 January 2011
21 January 2010