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“We design with care, and produce with passion”

The International Media Forum, which began yesterday in Antalya with the participation of 142 journalists from 50 countries, is resuming with important sessions. Addressing foreign press members at the International Media Forum, Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB) President Hikmet Tanrıverdi stated that Turkey was on of the world’s leading countries in the ready-made clothing industry. Associating this success with all the honest effort that went into it, “We design with care, and produce with passion,” Tanrıverdi commented.
 
 
The second day of the International Media Forum, organized within the scope of the “Turkey – Discover the Potential” (TDP) promotional campaign, ensued with the speeches of industry representatives. 
 
 
Pointing out that the ready-made clothing industry is one of Turkey’s leading industrial sectors, Hikmet Tanrıverdi stated that with its proven track record in production and design, Turkey is the production base for all of the world’s main brands, and that Turkey has created internationally known fast growing brands of its own.   
 
 
“Our manufacturing quality is based on our approximately fifty years of experience in the field of export. Moreover, we have powerful resources. And that is the diversity of our cultural and human resources. The Turkish ready-made clothing industry, especially with regard to the environment, shows the utmost respect for human health. We make a point of this. All of the raw material being used is sensitive to human health.”
 
 
Hikmet Tanrıverdi resumed is address by elaborating on the industry’s place in the Turkish economy: “We produce in all of the 81 provinces of Turkey, and export to over 200 countries. Our export revenue amounts to 17 billion dollars per year. Each year we bring into our country on average 15 billion dollars. With a revenue of 23-24 dollars per kilogram, we are ranked among the top three industries in value-added exports. We remain the only industry with the capacity to increase the export revenue per kilogram in the manufacturing sector to 40-50 dollars in the medium term. Within the frame of the 2023 Export Strategy, the ready-made clothing and apparel industry aims to achieve 60 billion dollars in export revenue.”
 
 
Tanrıverdi maintained that the Turkish ready-made and apparel industry had the capacity to achieve these aims, by moving ahead of its competitors in many fields such as fast fashion, flexible production, and corporate social responsibility.
 
 
The International Media Forum, realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkish Exporter’s Assembly (TIM), and with the sponsorship of THY, Maxx Royal, IHKIB and Borsa Istanbul, was organized by the Switzerland-based international media group Global Connection Media SA (GC).
 
 
142 journalists from 50 countries are participating in the International Media Forum, hosted by Maxx Royal Resort, the popular vacation destination in Antalya-Belek. 
 
 
 
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On the second day of the International Media Forum, organized by Global Connection, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek gave an address on Turkish and world economy, and answered questions posed by media members from 50 countries.
 
 
Şimşek, who focused on the world economy in the first part of his address, stressed the fact that while there had been substantial international economic growth after the global financial crisis, global risks were nevertheless on the rise.
 
 
Stating that 82 percent of interviewees answered the question, “Is the world becoming a more dangerous place” in the affirmative, he pointed out that this rose to 87 percent in Turkey.
 
 
Şimşek also mentioned the world’s aging population, which rose from 5 to 16 percent, as another global risk. 
 
 
Stressing the fact that global debt has been increasing in developing economies, Şimşek said that debt had risen to 280 percent in undeveloped economies.   
 
 
 
Income Disparity
 
 
 
Stating that after the global economic crisis 1.400 precautions were taken around the world, Şimşek said that productivity and was on the downtrend.
Pointing out that 95 percent of the growth income went to the 1 percent, and that the remaining 5 percent was shared by 99 percent of the population, Şimşek added that the world was on a cyclical recovery trend. Şimşek said, “When it comes to income justice, it is easier  said than done”.  
 
 
 
Turkey has performed very well
 
 
In the second part of his address at The International Media Forum, realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkish Exporter’s Assembly (TIM), and with the sponsorship of THY, Maxx Royal, IHKIB and Borsa Istanbul, Şimşek went on to discuss the Turkish economy and said that if the figures of 2000 were seen as 100, Turkey had reached 215 by 2016. And this performance was achieved despite the 2001 internal crisis, the 2008-2009 world economic crisis and the chaos in the Middle East.  
 
 
Deficit and inflation are the most pressing problems
 
 
Pointing to the fact that Turkey’s national income had nearly doubled in the last 14 years, Şimşek reiterated his belief that the Turkish economy was developing. Şimşek, stating that the financial markets had returned to normal after the referendum, said that this was normal as the markets were expecting the referendum result to be “Yes”. “Net exports, is a field which we should be focusing on. We have increased the support given to export so as to achieve economic growth based on export. We even issued special passports for exporters.” he said. 
 
 
According to Şimşek, the most pressing problems facing the Turkish economy is the current deficit and inflation: “We would have been able to keep the deficit under control if it weren’t for the problems we faced in tourism last year. But I can say that the deficit will be on the decline. And in the past two years Turkey has gone through a real shock. This translated into inflation. We are working towards bringing inflation down to single digit level. Stating that 7.3 million new jobs were created after the global financial crisis, Şimşek said, “We are encountering real difficulty in keeping the unemployment level below 10 percent”.
 
 
High income group discouraged by terror acts
 
 
 
Mentioning how Turkey is able to grow in times of reform, Şimşek had this to say: “Reforms were put into place during the Özal administration, and Turkey becam a middle-income country. We had become an upper middle-income country thanks to the reforms initiated since 2003. We were just about to become a high-level income country when the terror attempts started to happen.”
 
Stating that Turkey had to go through structural reforms, Şimşek had these to say: “We prioritize the education reform. We will make reforms in order to organise competitiveness and establish a better investment environment. Structural reforms regarding research-development will be put into place, as well as reforms concerning the labour market and administrative regulations. Stating that in global competition, Turkey ranks 55th among 138 countries, Şimşek said, “Turkey drew in 15 billion dollars investment until 2002. In the last 14 years this has risen to 180 billion dolars. So this means we have improved the investment environment. We’ll continue to do so.” 
 
 
“Even a single tweet can lead to misperceptions”
 
In the Q&A after his address, Şimşek said, “We have to look at the facts. We have to continue the EU accession process. For this we need more structural reforms. Secondly we must connect Turkey to the EU. Thirdly we need to get our message across. Then we can explain why there’s a state of emergency in Turkey. We are trying to do this. In today’s world even a single tweet can lead to misperceptions. And it takes time to correct those perceptions. That’s why we need more structural reforms. “ 
 
 
“We don’t want to linger on the tomatoes’ issue”
 
 
On the deal reached between Russia and Turkey, Şimşek said, “In the real world you compromise. I think it’s for the benefit of both countries. We’ve solved nearly all the problems. I can say we’re back at the relations before November 2015. Russia is a very important neighbour and trading partner. We want this dialogue to continue. It’s for the benefit of both countries. We don’t want to linger on the tomatoes’ issue”. 
 
 
“There’s a farce being put on in Syria”
 
In reply to another question, he said, “There’s a farce being put on in Syria. If we can get together with Iran, Russia and the US, and decide on a solution regarding Syria, that would definitely help. Iran, Turkey, Russia and the US will be very important actors in this. For a solution in Syria we need more democracy, more human rights and more equal citizenship.” 
On the question regarding the TANAP project conducted with Azerbaijan, he said, “It’s a very important project both as a consumer and it’s being an energy corridor. It will strengthen our ties with Azerbaijan. I hope it will be completed next year.”
 
 
In reply to another question, he said, “President Trump, in contradistinction to President Obama, is a businessman. I believe he will provide the US and Turkey with better opportunities for trade and investment. We want the relations between the two countries to be more productive. Of course we are facing problems but we’ll overcome them. I believe we’ll have a better relationship with the new administration.”

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