“As DEIK, we continue to work strongly in line with the aim of increasing the Turkish private sector’s success rate in the international arena.”
While the Duke of Broglie Albert, who lived in the 19th century described diplomacy as “it is the best thing civilization created to prevent the dominance of power in interstate relations”, famous political scientist Henry A. Kissinger evaluated it as the “new world order” in brief. Nowadays, diplomacy has become a discipline of international relations, which has completed its concept and has sub-branches. The concept of “commercial diplomacy” has recently been added to the types of diplomacy that we often hear such as dual diplomacy, multiple diplomacy, parliamentary diplomacy, secret diplomacy, shuttle diplomacy, public diplomacy and peak diplomacy. This concept of business diplomacy appears in international literature in different forms, such as “trade diplomacy”, “commercial diplomacy”, “business diplomacy”, and “economic diplomacy”. In its simplest form, it can be defined as “a combination of efforts aimed at strengthening international economic ties and building trust-based relations by developing mutual trade and investment opportunities jointly carried out by the public and private sectors.”
Ronald H. Brown, the former US Secretary of Commerce, who has made a major contribution to understanding the impact of commercial diplomacy in the field of international relations states that this concept would be more meaningful when it is based on economic security with stability and peace. Because trade and investment bring people together not as “enemies” or “competitors”, but as “customers”, “sellers” and “partners”. Especially in the second half of the 21st century, with the acceleration of technology and logistics opportunities, military power has been replaced by economic power in the struggle for global superiority. As a result of this situation, trade diplomacy in bilateral relations has become more important with each passing day.
When its economic size, geographic location as well as historical and cultural ties that position Turkey as one of the most important power centers in its region, are taken into consideration, Turkey’s commercial diplomacy’s role in its relations with other states undoubtedly has a great importance. In order to state Turkey to be an effective and powerful country in the field of commercial diplomacy by adapting to changing and developing world conditions, the foundations of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) were laid in 1985 with the directives of our 8th President Turgut Özal. DEİK, assuming to integrate the Turkish business world with the international business world and to carry out the foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector has become an effective and huge business platform in which 95 of Turkey’s leading business organizations take place as “founding members” and including 145 business councils of which 38 being country based at the point we have reached today. As DEİK, we continue to work very intensively and strongly this year with the motto “Our mission is to carry our force to the world!” in line with the aim of making Turkish private sector more effective in every field in the international community and raising the bar. In this context, to smooth the way for Turkish business world and to increase mutual gains by solving the problems that we face because of the asymmetrical structure of the Customs Union which is in effect with our biggest trade partner European Union, realize business development activities with the aim of “raising the Turkey-US trade volume to 75 billion dollars” declared as a target by the heads of states, prevent potential risks due to China’s in “Belt and Road Project” and evaluate opportunities are the prominent topics in this year’s agenda. While we continue our activities within the scope of the action plans established by the Ministry of Trade for “China, India, Mexico and Russia”, which were determined as the target countries, we also draw attention to the knowledge and experience of Turkish contracting and technical consultancy sectors in our meetings and business forums organized under the title “Opportunities for Cooperation in 3rd Countries” in the platform of “Africa Expansion”. In addition to this, we aim to strengthen our cultural ties, mutual trade and investment opportunities in Eurasia, which is expressed as our cultural geography. Moreover, we are in touch with all the global nerve endings in South America and Southeast Asia through both our trade delegations and foreign delegations we harbor in our age when the distances are losing importance every day. In addition to all of these activities, within the scope of the activities that we carry out regularly every year with the leadership of our Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs, we contribute to the foreign policy design with the outputs of commercial diplomacy activities by putting together our ambassadors, trade consultants and attaches with foreign ambassadors and mission officials in our work councils. As the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in the DEİK Ordinary General Assembly on 23 December, 2018, as DEIK, we will continue to carry out our commercial diplomatic activities in line with the new strategies that we will develop by combining with stimulating and pathfinder idea exercises for our business world.
Caner Çolak/ DEİK Secretary General