Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Beyrut Büyükelçiliği

Konuşma Metinleri

Turkish-Lebanese-Indian Joint Business Meeting, 14.10.2011

OPENING ADDRESS AT THE LEBANESE-INDIAN-TURKISH JOINT BUSINESS MEETING
(14 OCTOBER 2011, BEIRUT)

His Excellency Mr. Nicolas Nahhas, Minister of Economy and Trade of Lebanon,

Mr. Mohammed Choucair, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon,

My Dear Colleague, Excellency Mr. Ravi Thapar,

Distinguished members of the Lebanese, Indian and Turkish delegations.

First I would like to say a warm welcome to both Turkish and Indian businessmen and women who came here to improve and forge ties with their Lebanese counterparts.

I would like to extend my thanks to Mr. Choucair and members of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for hosting this important meeting and provide our business people who are coming from my hometown, a unique opportunity to meet with their Lebanese and Indian counterparts.

I have also to thank to my dear friend Ravi, the Indian Ambassador, for kindly accepting to hold a joint meeting together with the Indian delegation in the middle of the Indian cultural days in Lebanon.

Today’s meeting is extremely important with regard to current global economic developments we are going through.

At international level, we have seen that generous monetary policies of 2010 to contain the crises of 2008 and 2009 are falling short to address the problems that developing countries are facing.

On the other hand, huge debts, currency crisis and fiscal deficits constitute serious obstacles to economic growth.

At regional level, the events unfolding in the Arab countries since the beginning of the year, have so far deeply affected regional economies by leading a sharp drop in trade, tourism and capital activities and a considerable decrease in economic growth rates.

In dealing with the negative effects of both international and regional turmoil, international cooperation in business sector will play a key role. Therefore, I think that today’s meetings between Turkish, Lebanese and Indian businessmen and women are of utmost importance. I believe that they will yield fruitful results as to improve the economic and commercial ties between our respective countries.

Our meeting today will also provide the Turkish industrialists and businessmen a precious opportunity to discover the pioneering role of the Lebanese business people and the potential of Lebanon, which is located at one hour flight distance from İzmir.

Mr. Minister, Mr. Chairman,

Even though economies are going through hard times all over the world, Turkey has been registered as the fastest growing economy in the world in the first quarter of 2011. Its robust economy which is the 6th biggest in Europe and 16th in the world is expected to become 2nd biggest in Europe by 2050.

The participation of the members of the Izmir Association of Industrialists and Businessmen in our meeting testifies that the dynamism of the Turkish economy today is not limited to Istanbul, but it is the result of the vibrant economic activities all over Turkey. Izmir in fact, has always been one of the major ports and industrial and commercial centers in the Eastern Mediterranean.

We are very glad to note that this year Turkey ranks 8th in Lebanon’s imports with a volume of around 550 million Dollars and 5th in exports with a volume of 200 million Dollars. It is very encouraging to observe a steady increase in the Lebanese exports to Turkey.

According to the recent figures of 2011 our bilateral trade volume has reached to 750 million Dollars so far, which indicate 23 per cent increase compare to last year’s statistics. If we keep this trend, we will be able to register yet another record level with more than 1 billion Dollars by the end of this year.

On the other hand, let me also remind you that the volume of trade between Turkey and India is expected to reach 6 billion Dollars by the end of 2011.

These figures although not reflecting the potential between the countries, clearly display the sound economic relations in spite of the current situation in international and regional affairs.

I hope the documents to be signed and contacts forged here will give further impetus to our economic and commercial relations and pave the way for a trilateral cooperation.

To conclude, let me express my very sincere hope that our region will very soon leave behind the difficult times and wish all the success to Turkish, Lebanese and Indian businessmen and women in their endeavors.

Thank you.