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We Will Enter 2021 Under New Balances, Adapted to the Process

Nail Olpak

For the upcoming year, we will focus on our businesses by taking into consideration the changing balances.

Lebanese American painter, poet, and philosopher Khalil Gibran asks in his book Sand and Foam, “If winter should say, ‘Spring is in my heart,’ who would believe winter?” A quite pleasing quote to inspire hopes of peace after challenging times…

These are my thoughts about 2020. It has been a quite difficult year for everyone around the world. However, as the Turkish business world and DEIK family, we have adapted to the conditions, conducted our activities in the new order, and focused on the better days to come.

We have served as a bridge, so to speak, between our business world and esteemed Ministers, especially the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, since the beginning of COVID-19. We have offered them a platform based on consultation in which our business world could voice their demands and exchange their experience first-hand. It was very important to cultivate a solution-producing culture with this experience sharing and common mind to overcome the problems. We took the global trade’s pulse in a quite broad perspective from logistics to tourism, from goods trade to investments. We showed maximum effort to overcome the problems one by one with instant notifications from trucks at the border to good export by railway. We addressed the issues in global trade with our partners abroad sector by sector.

With 146 Business Councils all over the world, we worked hand in hand everywhere that was the heart of the global economy and trade. At that point, we really saw the advantage of our rapid adaptation to the period and integration of all of our working disciplines to digital media. We took all necessary steps such as webinars, online meetings, home-office working, and alternating office use. We focused on both our business and the facts of the new normal under these extraordinary circumstances, never lost our hope, and took the care to protect human life as much as we can.

As DEİK, just from the beginning and to our present day, we have carried out 95 online meetings with our Ministers, 33 sector and country-based Interconnected Business Networking meetings, 60 webinars and online seminars, and 4 international economy summits. We are talking about 1,700 trade diplomacy events all carried out on digital platforms. The importance of trade diplomacy in removing commercial obstacles has increased after the increasing commercial obstacles due to isolationist policies. And we saw once again how valuable our mission is for the Turkish business world. We aim to continue to work with all our strength and patience and maintain the supply chain of our country.

For the upcoming year, we will focus on our businesses by taking into consideration these changing balances. For example, we now see two trade blocs forming as Asia-Pacific and Africa. We need to read the opportunities and risks of these developments well. With that said, one of the most important agenda topics of Turkey’s foreign trade in the upcoming period will be the “European Green Deal”. On this matter, which we can call the “green life” in general, we must strive to meet the green standards in all stages of production. The EU countries are ardently preparing themselves for these standards. As the Turkish business world, we too must be prepared as fast as possible to adapt to this process.

Some of the important agenda topics in 2021 will be our country’s Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, and Azerbaijan policies, and the Black Sea Gas, not to mention our relations with the US. However, the Presidential Elections in the US will enter into every country’s agenda in the world, not just ours.

We have included Turkey-US economic relations in detail in this issue of our journal. Even though we have our ups and downs economically and politically, we care about our mutual trade with the US highly since they are one of our biggest trade partners after all. I believe that both countries will continue negotiations in a constructive atmosphere based on mutual understanding and maintain their strategic cooperation with their strong ties of long years.

Wishing that you all make the best use of the winter and keep the spring in your hearts, enjoy your reading in days full of health and welfare in the new year.

President of DEİK Nail Olpak

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