Bursa Grows Turkey Grows

Trade Minister Ömer Bolat meets with Bursa Business World

Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a meeting of the business world with the Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat. BTSO Chairman İbrahim Burkay said that Organized Trade Zones should be established to facilitate the activities of the service and trade sectors and improve their competitiveness, in addition to the SME OIZ project they have planned for manufacturing companies in Bursa.

Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat attended the "Bursa Business World Meeting" held at the BTSO Main Building. Bursa Governor Mahmut Demirtaş, Mayor of Metropolitan Municipality Alinur Aktaş, President of Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) Mustafa Gültepe, President of Bursa Commodity Exchange Özer Matlı and representatives of the business world and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting. Stating that there has been a great change and transformation in the global economy in recent years, İbrahim Burkay said that preserving the dynamics of production has become more valuable than ever in a period when the obstacles to trade have increased and the mobility of sectors has been limited. President Burkay said, "Bursa continues to meet the development targets of our nation by reaching 13 billion dollars of exports in the first 9 months of the year, with the exports of our free trade zone exceeding 1 billion dollars. I would like to thank all our industry and business people who deserve much appreciation by practicing with the motto of 'Believe in Yourself Trust in Your Country'."

High Inflation eroded Equity Resources of Firms

Stating that investment processes, production technologies and the trade environment are changing rapidly, President Burkay said, "It is of great importance to be guided and supported by our government in a period of disruption. The Medium Term Program, which was announced to determine the road map for the next three years, was created with a strong content, helping against global uncertainties and increasing predictability. The decisive implementation of the fight against inflation and the consideration of the production and investment needs of our business community will be decisive for the successful rollout of the Medium Term Program. On the other hand, the high inflation environment has dampened the appetite for investment and unfortunately eroded the equity of our firms. Following the changes in interest rate policy, it has become more difficult for our businesses to access financing, and our need for resource inflows has increased. The minimum wage subsidy offered by our government will continue to be at least 1,000 TL as of the new year and raising the income tax thresholds will be a very important step for both our businesses and our employees."

'Organized Trade Zone' Proposal from Burkay

President Burkay suggested that successful examples such as Organized Industrial Zones, which were implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Technology with the authorization of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, should also be established in the commercial field. He continued his speech as follows: "The new economic conjuncture in the world, especially after the pandemic, contains important opportunities for our country. The increasing rental costs are one of the most important obstacles for our companies and especially SMEs that want to grow and invest. If we overcome this problem, we will facilitate the commercial lives of our SMEs and enable them to seize global opportunities.

Within this scope we have drafted our SME OIZ project for our manufacturing SMEs. We also believe that Organized Trade Zones, which will be established at low cost by using suitable treasury lands, will add strength to the qualified growth of our companies in the service-trade sector and our development goals. These zones will be managed by the Chambers that will be operating under the supervision of our Ministry of Trade. Another major impact we expect is that informal trade, especially with neighboring countries and the so-called shuttle trade, will be given an institutional and legal identity with the new free trade zone to be established. The Free Trade Zones, which will come to life with the completion of the necessary legal regulations, will be an important center of attraction for trade with their modern logistics infrastructure and VAT exemption. We expect the support of our Ministry for the establishment of Free Trade Zones in Bursa, which have important functions in developed economies such as the USA, Germany and China".

"The Greatness of Victory is Measured by the Difficulty of the Struggle"

The Ministry of Trade has made important efforts to regulate commercial life and ensure price stability in the market. It provided opportunities for industry and business people to spread to the world. President Burkay emphasized that they will work with all their strength to reach our country's export target of 365 billion dollars together with the service trade. "The greatness of victory is measured by the difficulty of the struggle." said President Burkay, "We are determined to walk the road we need to tread for our prosperity, even if it is arduous, tirelessly. If we act in unity and solidarity, we will overcome every obstacle and achieve the goals set for the Centenary of Türkiye together."

Rising Momentum in Exports Continues

Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat said that Bursa, one of Turkey's industry, trade, tourism, agriculture and logistics centers, is among the regions contributing the most to exports. Stating that there have been positive developments in Turkey's foreign trade, Bolat said, "We wanted to share these developments with the Bursa business world. We shared our foreign trade figures for September this morning in coordination with the Turkish Exporters Assembly. We reached an export figure of 22.7 billion dollars in September. After July and August, we reached the highest monthly export figures in the history of the Republic in September. We want to continue this trend in October."

Minister Bolat Invites Business World to Collaboration

Emphasizing that Bursa is a city with a foreign trade surplus, Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat said, "Bursa is proudly flying the flag of our country all over the world. The automotive, textile and machinery sectors are at the top level again. Its potential and achievements in agriculture and tourism are evident. Bursa also has a free zone affiliated to our Ministry of Trade. 87 companies, 34 of which are foreign, operate here. Total exports are over 1 billion dollars. More than 12 thousand people are employed. As the Ministry, we provide important support to our exporters in Bursa. In Bursa, we provided 272 million liras in 2022 and 478 million liras in the first 9 months of this year. Next year we will increase export supports by more than 100 percent. We are also taking important steps for our companies to access financing. I invite our business world to close cooperation with our Ministry."

Noting that Bursa is a prominent logistics center in addition to its industry, Minister Bolat said, "Bursa serves as a transit trade center with its sea, land and rail networks. Our government has invested heavily in Bursa. With these investments, Bursa has become one of the 4 most developed cities in Turkey. If we had been able to bring half of our country to the size of Bursa, we could have reached an economic figure of 2 trillion dollars and a national income per capita of 25 thousand dollars. But we are on the right track. We are trying to make up for the lost years and develop our country at a faster pace. Over the past 21 years, we have achieved an average growth rate of 5.4 percent. By the end of this year, we hope to exceed $1 trillion in gross national product. Noting that they are in consultation with the business community, Bolat said, "All our efforts are for our country. BTSO's slogan is very fitting. When Bursa grows, Turkey grows.”

"We Will Not Permit Market Distorting Actions"

Trade Minister Bolat stated that they have started to see the results of the measures they have taken against market distorting actions. Ömer Bolat noted the following: "Our number one goal in the MTP is to reduce inflation. We have set a two-year perspective. We aim to reach single digit figures in 2026. As a government that believes in market economy and development together with the private sector, we will never tolerate market-distorting actions such as stockpiling and profiteering. We have ended the turbulent period in the automotive sector to a large extent with our efforts. Stocks have disappeared and cars are visible. Price decreases, campaigns and news of delivery in 3 hours started to come. This is what needed to happen. It is our duty to create conditions where everyone wins and producers and consumers are not harmed. We are making the same effort in other sectors. We will intensify market inspections. We are determined to ensure a fair market mechanism where consumers will not be harmed. Together, we will build a Turkey that grows more abundantly and efficiently under the conditions of a stable market economy with the win-win principle. I would like to thank our business world for their support for our vision of the Türkiye Century and for their contributions to the economy."

Governor Mahmut Demirtas Thanks the Business World

Bursa Governor Mahmut Demirtaş noted that Bursa provides significant added value to the Turkish economy with its ability to produce and export what it produces, and said: "Bursa continues to be the most important driving force of our regional and national economy with its high-tech and high-capacity facilities. I would like to thank the business people of Bursa for the added value they generate."

Following the opening speeches, representatives of the Bursa business world shared the problems they have experienced in their sectors and their recommendations for solutions with the Minister of Trade Prof. Dr. Ömer Bolat and the Ministry officials

| 05.10.2023 |


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