We are transforming Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) from an institution only announcing export numbers into a think tank making comprehensive analyzes of global trade data, preparing market and product researches with academic depth, presenting a road map to our exporters with the “TIMTank” model and conducting studies that will strengthen the global perception of our exports.
Within one year since we took office as the new TIM management, we have always felt the support and expectations of our 83 thousand exporters and focused firstly on 'digitalization.' We have defined the ''Export 4.0'' vision as ''5G'', the short for 'Strong Turkey', 'Strong Economy', 'Strong Export', 'Strong Human Resources' and 'Strong Infrastructure and Export Ecosystem'.
For our exports' today and future, improving more digital export processes and conventional ways, based on '24/7' principle, focusing to change the system limiting our exporters to depend on working hours, we defined our main objective as ''A Turkey with Foreign Trade Surplus''. TİM is now not only an institution that explains the export figures, but also a think tank that conducts a comprehensive analysis of global trade data, prepares academically deep market and product research, presents a road map to our exporters with the 'TIMTANK' model and conducts studies that will strengthen the global perception of our exports.
We continued the success of 2018 we closed with records, in the first five months of 2019. To make our exporters' success permanent, year 2019 was declared as the 'Year of Sustainability and Innovation.' Therefore, we are at the stage of completing our new web page design and content, TIM mobile application and ALO TIM (444 0 846) projects.
This year we declared as ''The Year of Sustainability and Innovation'' in exports; has started with innovations especially since January, with the support of the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. Beginning to calculate our exports under the 'General Trade System' completing the legal arrangement of 'Exports with Passengers', accelerating the digital transformation process in customs through ''Paperless Export Application'' and ''Transit Vehicle Program'' will accelerate our export operations in the future.
Today, the digital transformation integrating in all areas of our lives and destructive innovation caused by it, give us news about a new future of artificial intelligence from production to finance, the internet of objects and block-chaining technologies. In order to better understand this situation Turkey Innovation Week hosted this year 101 local people and foreign speakers and 40 thousand visitors, where we constantly emphasized on the share of value-added production and ''of high-tech products'' in our exports.
TIM has become one of the first institutions that come to mind when entrepreneurship and innovation is in debate in Turkey. While the InovaTIM family, the first of the two projects we have undertaken within the scope of university-industry cooperation, reached 2,950 people, the number of companies applying to our InoSuit Program, we started in the seventh period, reached 324. We started to spread to all parts of Turkey on behalf of entrepreneurship ''TIM-TEB Venture Houses'' project hosting new products and ideas and continuing to operate in 10 provinces with more than 850 newly educated entrepreneurs.
Having the motivation of taking exports, the most powerful pillar of Turkish economy even farther and the mission ''Turkey With Foreign Trade Surplus'' we gathered two summits: ''Delegates Workshop'' and ''TIM Regional Assemblies'. Thanks to these meetings, the SCT and VAT issues expressed by our leather and automotive sectors have been resolved with light speed. Again, very critical steps have been taken regarding the VAT refunds of our exporters. As of the beginning of June, an arrangement was made in article 24 caused our exporters problems in declarations.
TİM, being Turkey's sole and exclusive address of exports and keeping the priceless unity we created, we will continue to make export the most powerful pillar of our economy and Turkey the emerging power center of global trade in the upcoming period.