11. Cumhurbaşkanımız Sayın Abdullah Gül'ün TOJOY Yatırım Fonu 2017 Etkinliğinde Yaptığı Konuşma

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Distinguished Chairman, Esteemed participants,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank you for the kind invitation and the traditional warm hospitality extended to me since my arrival.

- For me, visiting China has always been a pleasure and wonderful experience. This time around, I am delighted to come to beautiful Wuhan, a city located deep within Central China, just like my hometown Kayseri residing in the center of Anatolia, all the way at other end of Asia.

- I have learned that Wuhan is economic, financial, cultural, educational and transportation center with a vast catchment area in Central China. Geographically similar to my hometown Kayseri where business minded people make it a very prominent city, Wuhan makes me feel right at home. Because, I have a strong feeling that I am addressing at an outward looking and industrious people who are also attached to their deeply rooted values and traditions. These defining features create a vibrant society open to cooperation with others while promoting growth and progress.

- We are here today to mark the opening of the Tojoy Investment Forum at a unique time period and the juncture of the world history.

- China, Turkey and many other countries are going through major events shaking the very foundations of the previous World Order.

- Ladies and Gentlemen, we are observing the re-awakening of Asia. Especially for China and Turkey, it is an exciting, inspiring and challenging period of time that we all share. Yes, I feel at home because I presume that Chinese and Turkish people are surrounded with similar psychology.

- Our countries hail from great Empires. Chinese and Turks are descendants of great civilizations. Despite great achievements in the past, however starting from the 16th century onward, the West became more and more powerful, surpassing our countries in the fields of science, technology, innovation, production and academic achievement leading to an unprecedented economic growth and prosperity. Consequently, our countries like many others suffered greatly, because these developments also brought about an imbalance in the world politics.

- This is neıther to put the blame on our friends in the West, nor my purpose is to make them feel uncomfortable. These are facts of history. As a matter of fact, it was our inability and incompetency in reforming and restructuring our societies and economies so as to face the challenges of the time. Our cars, banks, systems of government, you name it, all spring from a form of modernity that first took shape in Europe. We should acknowledge this, and give it credit where it is due.

- Our generation’s great fortune however, is to be living during the re-balancing of power dynamics. The economic center of the world is shifting constantly toward the East, of course for the right reasons. We feel it every day. The gravity of power will definitely exert its influence. It is just a matter of time.

- For the first time in nearly four centuries, our children could live in a world that is not dominated by one single part of the world. Power is no longer accumulated within one flank, it is diffused. And if our children work hard, they can launch the next Google or Tesla. We already see the beginnings of such breakthrough enterprises in companies like Alibaba.

-Our two countries have much in common. We both were centrally planned economies back in the 1970s, but opened up to the world, and participated in globalization. We both lifted our people to a great extend out of poverty, and became good friends in the process.

- Our two countries have diplomatic ties since 1971. Back then, unfortunately we were constrained by the circumstances of the Cold War era. Today however, our two countries have a flourishing economic, political and cultural relationship. As the President of the Republic of Turkey, I was always happy to engage with my Chinese counterpart to broaden and deepen the relationship between our great countries. I have the vivid memory of my state visit to China in 2009, during which many economic and political programs were initiated. Also, I was proud to host President Xi Jinping (Shi) in Ankara in 2012. I am glad to see that our successors are continuing this high-level engagement.

- Today, Turkey and China have a trade volume of over 23 billion USD, making China our second largest trading partner following Germany. China for us, is no longer the workshop of the world, but a place where high-quality products can be obtained at reasonable prices. It is also a place of possibilities, a place that shares our inspiration and vision of the future.

-Turkey has also a huge economic potential. We are a full member of EU Customs Union. This means that trade has no boundary between the EU countries as a whole. Unimpeded trade between Turkey and the EU opens up new and vast opportunities provided that it is cultivated jointly by Turkish and Chinese businesses.

-The economic and legal reforms undertaken for the last 15 years have made Turkish economy robust and attractive for the foreign investors. This year during the third quarter, economic growth reckoned 11.7 percent, making Turkey the fastest growing country in the world.

- Perhaps the most exciting project at this time is the Belt and Road initiative. Currently, most of the trade between China and our part of the world is done by container ships. Through the Belt and Road initiative, we would invest into creating land routes through the Asian heartland, and activate the vast potential of our continent.

This is not just about logistics, but about creating an entirely new investment space. It is not just about overcoming spatial distance, but clearing the hurdles of bureaucratic boundaries that separate our people.

- I believe that Turkey has an important role to play in One Belt One Road Perspective. With the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in October of this year, we have made it technically possible the uninterrupted travel from Beijing to London by rail. We now need to use this infrastructure, and expand it further. Given our geographic location, as well as our national character, I believe that Turkey will be an important actor in making this happen. Our business people are very keen for my colleagues in government to get engaged.

Distinguished participants,

-The future belongs to those who are willing to work hard. It is no longer about where you are from, but how big you dream, and what you can do.

- We in Turkey are happy to see our friends in China successful in this new world. I hope that the Tojoy Investment Forum will be a place where businessmen and businesswomen meet to plan a prosperous and peaceful tomorrow.

- Thank you again for your kind invitation. I wish you all the best.

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