On the first day of the Istanbul Economic Summit, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mr. Ersin Tatar, the Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Cevdet Yılmaz, the President of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), Mr. Firuz B. Bağlıkaya, and the Executive Board President of the Istanbul Economic Summit, Mr. Abdullah Değer, inaugurated the event with their opening speeches on December 8th, under the theme of “Sustainable Living and Smart Cities” for the seventh time at Çırağan Palace.
Sponsored by Koluman Otomotiv, the summit, lasting for two days, took place for the 7th time at Çırağan Palace with the participation of 1500 people under the main theme of “Sustainable Living and Smart Cities.”
In his opening speech at the summit, attended by businesspeople, academics, bureaucrats, politicians, and representatives of civil society organizations from various countries, President Ersin Tatar of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus received great applause with his statement, “Turkey’s century will be the century of smart cities.”
President Ersin Tatar expressed their readiness to combine the potential of Turkey and Cyprus, emphasizing their determination to leave a prosperous Turkey and Cyprus for future generations. He highlighted equality, justice, and fair use of natural resources as the keys to stability in the region. Despite the challenges during the pandemic, Tatar stated that they effectively managed the crisis and drew important lessons for sustainability. Additionally, he mentioned the region’s potential of 5 billion dollars, expressing their readiness for everyone to contribute to realizing this potential.
One of the opening speakers at the Istanbul Economic Summit, Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Cevdet Yılmaz, began his speech by conveying the heartfelt greetings and wishes for success from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to all summit participants.
Mr. Yılmaz stated, “Turkey’s 5-year credit default swap (CDS) is at its lowest level in 2.5 years. In November, we reached the highest monthly export figure in history, which is 23 billion 11 million dollars. As of December 1st, the Central Bank’s gross reserves reached a historical record level of 140.1 billion dollars. In this process, where we are progressing with financial discipline, monetary policy, and structural transformation tools, we have begun to see positive outcomes.
Indicators for the third quarter of 2023 suggest that economic growth continues. Our unemployment rate is at a single-digit level, standing at 8.9. While our economy is growing, we are not giving up on the fight against inflation. With the monetary and fiscal policies we implement, monthly decreases in inflation, in line with our year-end target in the Medium Term Program (OVP), continue. As of December 1st, the Central Bank’s gross reserves reached a historical record level of 140.1 billion dollars. We expect to see a significant decrease on an annual basis after the middle of 2024.”
While exerting efforts to strengthen our country with its economy and production, we are tirelessly working, under the leadership of our President, to uplift the cities in earthquake-prone regions. In the Twelfth Development Plan, we included numerous policies and measures related to disaster management, urban transformation, urbanization, housing, environmental protection, urban infrastructure, regional development, and rural development. We have implemented regulations to make our cities more resilient against disasters, especially earthquakes.
To expedite urban transformation efforts, the Urban Transformation Presidency was established. The Urban Transformation Law, providing a comprehensive legal infrastructure against the reality of earthquakes threatening our people and cities, received approval from our Parliament last month and came into effect.
Yılmaz concluded his words by stating, “We are determined to build the cities of the future that are robust, safe, climate-friendly, and equipped with smart city technologies worthy of Turkey’s Century.”
Firuz B. Bağlıkaya, the President of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Istanbul Economic Summit, delivered the opening speech of the summit aimed at creating a better world. Bağlıkaya emphasized that the significant changes that were expected to happen in 300 years have occurred in the last 30 years, necessitating a reevaluation of lifestyle and business practices. He stated, “In the future, competition will be between those who embrace innovations and those who consider them opportunities. The struggle between those who adapt to change and reflect opportunities in their businesses and those who cannot see them will shape the future.” Bağlıkaya expressed that Turkey is fortunate to have achieved significant gains during this period through correct steps and policies.
Bağlıkaya also highlighted that in 2022, Turkey broke the historical record in exports, reaching $254 billion against $363 billion in imports. Pointing out Turkey’s young population and growth potential of around 5% annually, he emphasized the achievements in service exports, including tourism income.
Abdullah Değer, the Executive Board President, spoke at the opening of the Istanbul Economic Summit, emphasizing that smart cities and sustainable living are crucial in today’s world. Expressing his satisfaction with the increasing interest each year, Değer shared his pride in hosting global leaders who come together to discuss these important topics and encourage solution-oriented approaches. Değer also pointed out the summit’s vision to build a sustainable world from both environmental and societal perspectives.
The summit, which will last for two days, will be a crucial roadmap and reference point for the world by organizing sessions and panels that will discuss important topics such as the world’s economic situation, climate change adaptation, ensuring peace and prosperity for all people, sustainable improvement of life for future generations, access to sustainable energy, and efficient use of resources. These sessions will share current global developments and future forecasts while seeking effective solutions to existing problems.
Supported and sponsored by Turkey’s Association of Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), Koluman Otomotiv, Mercedes Benz Türk A.Ş., Sanofi, Borusan Otomotiv BMW, Oncharge, DBE Holding, Forma Makina, İTÜARI Teknokent, Lyonel A. Makzume Companies Group, Klaus Miller Renewable Energy Systems, Tellioğlu Group, and Aya Tech, important collaborations will be established during the two-day summit at Çırağan Palace.
On the second day of the summit, December 9th, Saturday, the opening speech will be delivered by Olgun Amcaoğlu, the Minister of Economy and Energy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Each panel in the summit will focus on a different aspect of the economy, providing valuable insights and perspectives. Twelve different panels will be organized on sustainable development, digital transformation, innovation, emerging markets, health, automotive, tourism, food, international trade, and sustainable living. Renowned experts and thought leaders will share their knowledge, research, and experiences in these engaging sessions. The summit aims to enhance collaboration, inspire new initiatives, and promote economic growth. Participants will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals, participate in meaningful discussions, and gain new perspectives on the evolving global economy.
The two-day Istanbul Economic Summit will host thought-provoking panel discussions and opening speeches that focus on the role of sustainable living and smart cities in promoting harmonious coexistence between people and the environment.
The Istanbul Golden Values Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner will take place on December 9, 2023, at Çırağan Palace, where 13 distinguished institutions and individuals will be awarded for their significant contributions in various fields. The ceremony and gala dinner will feature a 100th-anniversary fashion show showcasing the latest trends by famous designers. The event will conclude with a live music performance. In addition to recognizing achievements, the Istanbul Golden Values Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner will serve as an opportunity to build networks and establish new connections. This prestigious event will be a standout feature of the summit, bringing together culture, fashion, and art.