Talking at the 13th Ambassadors' Conference, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe said, “A strong diplomatic network paves the way for our trade. In addition to the direct contribution of our diplomatic missions to our trade, the diplomatic gains of our foreign ministry both strengthen our country's image and provide ease of doing business to our exporters. We are a brand country in the ready-to-wear, iron and steel, furniture, contracting services, and food sectors. Our successes in the defense, aerospace, electrical and electronics, machinery, and metal sectors attract the attention of the world. Our export family adds prestige to our country with its investments abroad and stores and sales points at more than 5000 points. As the coordination between business world representatives and ambassadors becomes stronger, we produce more efficient, more effective, and more beneficial results on behalf of our country.”
Mustafa Gültepe, Chairman of Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the umbrella organization of more than 100,000 exporters who are the field workers of Türkiye's economy and trade diplomacy, addressed the participants at the Ambassadors' Conference, which has been hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2008 and held for the thirteenth time this year between 6-12 August 2022 with the theme of “Wise and kind Turkish diplomacy in 2023 and beyond”. The conference, addressed by TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe, was attended by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Trade Minister Mehmet Muş, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions and the business world, and NGOs. In his opening speech, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe gave important messages about the contributions of Türkiye's growing and expanding diplomatic network in the last 20 years to the country's exports and exporters.
“Between 2008 and 2016, we see that our exports to the 39 countries where we opened embassies increased by an average of 27 percent”
Stating that despite the opportunities offered by communication and transportation technologies, information asymmetry continues to exist in international trade and that Turkish exporters overcome these obstacles they face in the markets in which they operate more easily thanks to Türkiye's foreign missions, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe said, “As exporters, we know that a strong diplomatic network paves the way for our trade. Türkiye is currently the fourth country with the highest number of foreign representations with 253 foreign representations. Between 2008 and 2016, we see that our exports to the 39 countries where we opened embassies increased by an average of 27 percent. In addition to the direct contribution of our diplomatic missions to our trade, the diplomatic gains of our foreign ministry both strengthen our country's image and provide ease of doing business to our exporters. As exporters, we continue to contribute to our country by walking on the paths opened by our diplomacy and with the commercial relations we will establish.”
“Our successes in the Defense, Aerospace, Electrical-Electronics, Machinery, and Metal sectors attract the attention of the whole world”
Reminding that trade and diplomacy are activities that develop together and take strength from each other and that the proxenos in Ancient Greece, which are seen as the first consular examples of history, were established to protect the rights of merchants in other site states, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe stated that trade, which is an effective method of public diplomacy, is also among the most important soft power elements.
Stating that as exporters, while supporting Türkiye's conventional power with their products and investments, they also contribute to Türkiye's soft power elements with their commercial diplomacy activities, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe noted that Türkiye jumped 27 steps to 22nd place in the global soft power index with this year's evaluation.
Stating that he wholeheartedly congratulated Turkish exporter who contributed to this success, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe said, "Today, our exporters have carried their annual exports to 250 billion dollars and reached a position that flies our flag in more than 200 countries and regions. We are a brand country in the Ready-to-Wear, Iron and Steel, Furniture, Contracting Services, and Food sectors. Our successes in the Defense, Aerospace, Electrical and Electronics, Machinery, and Metal sectors attract the attention of the whole world. Our export family adds prestige to our country with its investments abroad and stores and sales points at more than 5000 points.”
“Our export family will achieve success in distant countries with the support of our state and ambassadors”
Stating that at the beginning of July, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş shared the Distant Countries Strategy with the public and that it is of utmost importance to increase the average range of their exports, which is currently 3,065 km, to the world average of 4,744 km, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe said, “At this point, both our exporters and our diplomatic missions have important duties. In order to achieve this goal, we need to increase our presence in every country and every region and solve the problems faced by our companies with the cooperation of our foreign affairs, our assembly, and exporters' associations. I believe that our export family will succeed in these distant countries with the support of our state and ambassadors.”
“As the coordination between business representatives and ambassadors becomes stronger, we produce more efficient, more effective, and more beneficial results on behalf of our country”
TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe emphasized that due to the nature of trade, it has a structure that improves the interaction between societies and is based on reconciliation instead of conflict and that Türkiye's diplomatic missions pave the way for their trade and strengthen the hand of their diplomatic representatives with their commercial activities.
Underlining that as the coordination between business world representatives and ambassadors becomes stronger, they produce more efficient, more effective, and more beneficial results on behalf of Türkiye, TİM Chairman Mustafa Gültepe said, “We are entering a period in which concerns are increasing in the global economy and security. I believe that it will be beneficial for our ambassadors who are always with us to continue to work closely with our export family against the disruptions that may occur in trade during this period. Similarly, I believe that the trade relations developed by our exporters have a quality that will strengthen the hand of our foreign policy in this period when geopolitical risks are increasing. As Turkish Exporters Assembly, I would like to express once again that we face all the difficulties together with our foreign affairs, that we work for the best interests of our country, and that we are ready to further strengthen our coordination with our foreign missions.”