The "Economic Cooperation" identified as the main theme of the First Summit of the Turkic Council has a priority in the framework of the partnership between our member countries.
In this context, the very foundation of the actual cooperation mechanisms of the Turkic Council was originally laid at the first Meeting of Ministers in charge of Economy.
New mechanisms for transportation, tourism, education and business were established within the framework of the decisions taken at the meeting, which evidently demonstrates that the Economic Ministers' Meetings are the "driving force" of the continued cooperation in the Turkic Council.
Since Astana Summit in 2015, the cooperation of brotherly Turkic countries has risen to a new level. The trade turnover among the Member States of the Turkic Council has increased by 22% reaching almost 9 bln USD. When Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are added to this equation, the total trade turnover will reach approximately 16 bln USD among all Turkic Speaking countries. Uzbekistan's trade turnover with the Turkic Council member states has also increased by 40% since 2016.
These are indeed successes in a world passing through geopolitical and geo-economic turbulences. Together, the Turkic Speaking States have a greater capacity to contribute to regional stability. 6 Turkic States account for a population of around 150 million, cover an area of over 4.5 million square kilometres, and have a total GDP of around 1.5 trillion USD, ranking the 13th as a whole in the world. Their untapped collective potential is too valuable to overlook.
Today, increasing trade volume between the East and West, namely China and Europe offers new advantages that our countries can benefit. According to statistics, the value of the freight volume between China and Europe is over 1 billion USD daily. We believe that historical Silk Road provides enough substance for the integration of the Turkic world as it did in history.
The trade volume of the Member States in the world economy represents 536 billion dollars that is owed to significant progresses made for increasing investment, lowering customs taxes, harmonizing customs procedures, building transport infrastructure, implementing effective economic policies. Supported by projects developed in different fields, and with the resources it offers, cooperation in the field of economy becomes a more attractive partnership area.
In this respect, a total of 8 ministerial and 10 working group meetings on economic cooperation were hitherto organized under the umbrella of the Turkic Council since its establishment.
Close cooperation in this field resulted in the signing of 3 Memorandums of Understanding:
1. “Memorandum of Understanding among the Turkic Council Member States for Exploring the Possibilities Regarding Experience Sharing on Investment Climate”;
2. “Memorandum of Understanding amongst the Member Countries of the Turkic Council on Cooperation in the Field of Investment Statistics”:
3. “Among Government Bodies for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises of the Turkic Council Member States”.
At 6th Turkic Council Summit held in Cholpon-Ata on 3 September 2018, the Heads of States reaffirmed the importance of reviving the cooperation in the field of economy through increasing investment opportunities and further exploring natural and geographic advantages of the Member States located on the Silk Road.
The Secretariat is currently working to further elaborate vibrant projects in the field of economy such as establishing a Joint Fund, preparing a comprehensive research paper on investment climate and international trade complementarities of the Member States in cooperation with Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) and finally founding a more institutionalized structure and a joint secretariat of the chambers of trade and industry of the Member States.
With regard to the establishment of the Joint Fund, in line with the decision taken at the 10th Turkic Council Working Group on Economic Cooperation held on 16 October 2018 in Bishkek, the technical meeting on the establishment of the Fund convened on 17-18 January 2019 in Istanbul at the premises of the Secretariat with the participation of experts from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. The Parties discussed their views and proposals concerning the principal structure of the Fund and agreed on a Concept Paper.
The Secretariat in close cooperation with the Ministries in charge of Economy and other relevant institutions of the Member States regularly organizes training and experience sharing programs on various subjects. Most recently, the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Turkey together with Small and Medium Size Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB) held an investment statistics and investment climate training program combined with the information and experience sharing program in the field of development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for the experts of the Member States in April 2018 in Ankara.
The Turkic Council regularly brings together members of the private sector of the Member States by organizing technical visits for investors/businessmen, holding Business Forums and meetings of Turkic Business Council, Round Tables for the Businessmen with the aim of further strengthening economic ties among its members.
Turkic Business Council/Business Forum Meetings
Upon the instruction given by the Heads of States of Turkic Council at the 1st Summit, the institutions representing business communities of the Member States signed on 20 October 2011 in Almaty, the agreement that established the Joint Business Council in order to initiate and oversee multilateral actions of cooperation based on the principle of mutual assistance and support in line with the priorities described in the agreement.
Under the umbrella of the Turkic Council, 6 Business Council meetings and 4 Business Forum gathering around more than 500 businessmen were held so far. Moreover, one technical visit for investors was organized alongside 3 round-table meetings for entrepreneurs of the Member States. Various experience sharing programs among national trade and industry chambers.
On the sidelines of the 25th Executive Committee meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Secretariat convened the Turkic Business Council on 14 December 2018 in Tashkent with the participation of the Chairmen and Senior Officials of the National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the Turkic Council Member States as well as those of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Stressing the significance of cooperation with other partners interested in investing in the region, the Parties exchanged views on the upcoming Turkic Business Forum and Turkic Business Council meeting in the course of 2019 and discussed the further steps to be taken for the institutionalization of the existing cooperation mechanisms in the field of mutual investment and trade.
Turkic Business Portal
The latest initiative of the Turkic Council aims to create an online platform that will practically eliminate physical, bureaucratic and linguistic barriers in front of the trade among the Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) of our Member States.
This platform will enable instant communication between SMEs without any intermediaries and collecting information, the trade potential and activities that are currently dispersed among various other fora under a single web portal. While easing communication and centralizing the relevant information, the Turkic Council will greatly facilitate the increase of speed and volume of commercial interactions.
In this respect, to ensure that the Business Portal can be transformed into a comprehensive and effective platform, regular and timely provision of the information and data flow required from the related public economic institutions to the Secretariat as well as the private sector umbrella organizations will contribute to the successful implementation of the project.
In line with the decisions of previous working group and ministerial meetings on economic cooperation the organization conducts its activities with the aim of creating better conditions for doing business, harmonization of legislations and facilitation of trade and economic relations among the member countries through close coordination with relevant governmental bodies and other institutions in charge of economic issues as transport, customs and tourism etc.