Inauguration Ceremony

Both Turkish and EU SMEs will benefit from new opportunities with the modernization of the Customs Union

TURKONFED: “CUSTOMS UNION FOR SMEs!”

 TURKONFED has initiated a new Project which aims to bring the modernization of the Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the EU to the agenda of both parties as well as to present policy recommendations for SMEs to maximise their benefit from the modernization process. During the Inauguration Ceremony of the “Customs Union for SMEs” Project, participants discussed new opportunuties the SMEs would benefit with the modernization of the Customs Union and how the process should be approached regarding the needs of SMEs.

 21 August 2019-Istanbul / Coordinated by the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED) and supported under the Civil Society Dialogue Programme Fifth Period, a new project has been initiated, aiming for SMEs to have an active role in the modernization of Customs Union process between Turkey and the EU and to benefit the most from this process . The Inauguration Ceremony of the “Customs Union for SMEs” Project was launched with the opening remarks from TURKONFED Vice President Ali Avcı and Fashion and Apparel Federation (MHGF) President Hüseyin Öztürk. Following the opening remarks, the event continued with a panel entitled “Analyzing the SMEs and Sectors in the Modernization of the Customs Union” moderated by TURKONFED and SEDEFED Politics and Economy Consultant Haluk Tükel. 

 Ali Avcı: Financial instruments specific to SMEs must be developed to benefit the most from the process

In his speech, TURKONFED Vice President Ali Avcı emphasized that the modernization of the Customs Union would increase the capacity of European and Turkish business world to access new markets in services and other sectors, and it would allow for SMEs to be supported more effectively at a global level. TURKONFED Vice President Ali Avcı continued his words:

“Modernizing the Customs Union in line with the 21. century’s  challenging global economy and trade atmosphere would result in more powerful inverstment-trade relations and it would create various opportunities for SMEs in Turkey and the EU, whose role is very crucial when it comes to job creation, inclusive growth and sustainable development. Hence, we need a “Think for the Small-SMEs-First” approach in the modernization process. Identifying the needs of SMEs, developing financial instruments specific to SMEs, analyzing potential effect of the modernization on sectors and solving the Visa issue are the most important issues that step up.”

Hüseyin Öztürk: Preserving the sectoral gains during the modernization process is very important for our SMEs

 In his speech, the Fashion and Apparel Federation (MHGF) President Hüseyin Öztürk emphasized that the modernization of Customs Union would have a positive impact on the investment climate and employment in the ready-made clothing sector. Fashion and Apparel Federation (MHGF) President Hüseyin Öztürk continued his words:

“In our sector the investment value is low, the emploment is high, and we contribute to the social peace. It is very important to keep that in mind when modernizing the Customs Union. While Turkey’s kilogram value in overall export is around $1.35, the kilogram value of ready-made clothing sector in export is around $19.2. Hence, preserving our sector’s gains in the modernization process is crucial.”

Following the opening remarks, the event continued with a panel entitled “Analyzing the SMEs and Sectors in the Modernization of the Customs Union” moderated by TURKONFED and SEDEFED Politics and Economy Consultant Haluk Tükel. The panelists were the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) President Sinan Ülgen, Bilkent University Professor of Economics Sübidey Togan, TURKONFED Economy Consultant Pelin Yenigün Dilek, Business Alliance of Slovakia (BAS) Brussels Representative Erik Szedely and Daha İyi Yargı Derneği (Better Jurisdiction Foundation) Executive Board Member Hande Hançer Çelik.

 

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