Mr. Chairman, you are here in Abu Dhabi with a considerable amount of businessmen. Welcome. What are you aiming for? Unfortunately, Erzurum and your Eastern Anatolia Region are not too much known in this region. What are you talking with your collocutors? First of all, I especially want say that we are, whole delegation, very pleased to be here. I must state that the countries of the region which includes the Gulf countries are among the countries with growing economies of scale and market potential and they carry a considerable potential for our businesses in terms of export and local investment. In this direction, as the union, we started an intensive overseas marketing process to have our regional enterprises take place in these markets and obtain market share, beginning with our construction and food business. From the point of export development, we attach great importance to fair participation and trade delegations. In the target market countries, we ensure participation for active promotionmarketing by providing crowded attendance to the fairs that are the heart of the sector such as Abu Dabi SİAL Food Fair. We have also participated in this fair, which is leading in the food sector of the Middle Eastgeography, especially the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf States, with 13 member firms and a delegation of 20 people. The firms which introduce their products in the stands that are installed in the exhibition area and host the visitors, are making very good business contacts with the leading local companies via intense interviews in addition to introducing their products to the visitors and informing them about the export potentials. What do the businessmen of GRC (Gulf Region Countries) say about your region and especially Erzurum when they listen to them from you? What will be the main advantages that will stand out if we briefly describe Erzurum and your region?
Our region where Erzurum is located, has been the door to Anatolia with its position as the commercial transition route of the historical trade caravan routes such as the Fur Road through Siberia Caucasus and the Silk Road from China-Turkestan-Iran and Spice Road through India- Iran. This is valid today too and we are on the corridor where European geography is opened to both Central Asian countries and the Gulf region. For this reason, our region is directly affected by all kinds of commercial activity that may be from Turkey to the Caucasus, Iran, Central Asia and the Middle East. In addition to this, our region is located at the junction which binds the east with the west and the north with the south of Turkey and has a potential to reach 6 counties in 2-3 hours
with an average of 300-400 km in distance and can provide opportunities to trade with a population of approximately 50 million, offers important opportunities in terms of access to the Caucasus and the Middle East market. The transport projects that are already in the stage of completion, the high-speed train project and the railroad project that extends this to Central Asia will further strengthen the access of Erzurum-based regional provinces to the ports and target markets. With your permission, I would like to keep the conversation in an Erzurum- oriented way because you are speaking with a very sweet Erzurum accent. We see that the members of the Eastern Anatolian Exporters’ Association, which you are chairing, have a serious export capacity. How did your organization in Abu Dhabi pass? How are your observations?
From the point of the region, we consider Iran, Iraq, Russian Federation, Georgia and the Gulf countries as important foreign trade markets, since the relations that will be developed with foreign countries are important for the development of the region’s provinces. We are planning our work in this direction. Today being here are in Abu Dhabi is a sign indicating the importance of this geography for us and our work on this subject. As the interest that we have received in a few days and the observations that we have made show that we stand at the right point. The organizational process, which enables meeting many buyers from UAE and neighboring countries, is going very positively for our food producers. Our stand, our regional companies and our products have received great interest. We have already begun to receive positive results of the hundreds of bilateral business discussions that we have programmed with local food importers and our regional producers. Frankly I have just got curious. I’m sure our readers will be curious as when they will read. You have a colorful personality. Can we talk a little about ‘You? You have hundreds of
members; do you know them all? Have you had the opportunity to visit the Cities connected to your Presidency? Both my colleagues and I are very happy with the job that we have been doing, even if we take part in an intensive work pace. Because, in addition to serving 4,000 active member companies operating in various sectors all over Turkey and exporting to almost every country in the world in all continents, we are responsible for increasing the export and developing of a large geographical area covering one fifth of our country. As I have pointed out, this brings us with an important responsibility and an intense workload, but, at this point, it encourages us to receive the unlimited support of the Turkish Exporters Assembly and the Ministry of Economy.
Pursuant to this support that we receive, we have been giving our all with a strong motivation for 7 days and 24 hours in order to deal with all kinds of problems of our export member firms face, to find out solutions and provide guidance for them by providing promotions in our target markets, improving the image and improving the export potential. If God pleases, in order to increase the regional exports with a focus on the region of Gulf, we will be very busy with trade fairs, sectoral trade delegations and procurement committees during 2017 and 2018.