The 14th Turkish-Arab Economic Forum (TAF) was held in Istanbul on November 8 under the theme of "New Era in Cooperation". The event received support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Treasury and Finance, the Investment Office, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB), as well as the esteemed participation of eminent professionals in the field.
During his address, Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Şimşek acknowledged the global challenges currently at play, stating “Examining the current state of affairs in the global economy, we observe moderate levels of growth persisting. For next year, the IMF is forecasting a worldwide growth rate of 2.9 percent. However, if we exclude the rapid expansion occurring in India and China, the projected global growth drops to 1.6 percent - a figure that indicates recession conditions."
Şimşek noted that projections indicating world growth over the next five years would likely be in the range of 3-3.1 percent, adding that “it is vitally important that we promote greater regional economic integration and trade. Commerce remains one of the fundamental drivers of expansion. Given the serious competitive dynamics, closer collaboration will allow us to foster regional trade. Simultaneously, we can work to overcome sluggish growth challenges in unison."
Investment Office President A. Burak Dağlıoğlu stated that Türkiye has been on the right track in terms of cooperation with Arab countries under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since 2003, positioning Türkiye among the world's 20 largest economies. Dağlıoğlu stated, "Türkiye aims for sustainable and digital growth, aspiring to transition from a regional center to emerge as a global economic power. We invite investors, particularly from Arab countries, to invest in Türkiye to contribute to this growth."
Drawing attention to the significance of Türkiye's geographical location in the middle of Africa, Europe, and Asia, Dağlıoğlu further noted that "Türkiye offers a business-friendly investment environment, complemented by a robust and fast-growing economy. Our growth has been continuing since 2003. We have a very competitive talent pool."
Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers Dr. Khaled Hanafy highlighted the ongoing, developing, and continuous economic ties between Türkiye and Arab countries, evident in trade and investment figures. Pointing out that Türkiye is a major economic partner in the Arab region, Hanafy noted that "Türkiye's exports to Arab countries are increasing, almost 10 percent, every year. Arab countries are also constantly increasing their investments in Türkiye and making direct and indirect investments, particularly in the real estate sector. An annual influx of 10 million Arab tourists in Türkiye is also of note," he added.
TAF has hosted 10 prime ministers, 105 ministers, and over 10,000 participants in the 13 summits held so far. The forum brings together government officials, representatives of high-level regional institutions, and organizations, addressing a wide range of agendas, including finance, investment, defense, FinTech, energy, industry, technology, food, and infrastructure.