Levent Sadık Ahmet: We aim to bring together Türkiye-friendly business people
Members of the World Turkish Business Council (DTIK), which operates under the umbrella of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), met at a reception hosted by the Embassy of Türkiye in Belgrade.
The members gathered in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, visited some institutions during the day and attended a reception hosted by Ambassador Hami Aksoy.
In his speech at the programme, Ambassador of Türkiye to Belgrade Aksoy said that they would like Turkish business people in Serbia to become members of DTİK.
Stating that Turkish business people are doing good things in entrepreneurship, Aksoy expressed his surprise when he saw companies from Kahramanmaraş and Gaziantep after the earthquakes of 6 February at a fair held in Belgrade and said, "I said to them, 'You experienced a big earthquake, how did you recover immediately and come here?' They told me, 'Some of our factories were destroyed, we lost our workers, but we can overcome the pain of the earthquake by working.' I understood once again how resilient the Turkish labour force is."
Stating that the relations between Serbia and Türkiye are at a high level, Ambassador Aksoy stated that there is a close relationship between the presidents of the two countries, which opens all doors for them.
Stating that Turkish investments in Serbia have increased from 1 million dollars to 400 million dollars in the last 10 years, Hami Aksoy said:
"We have nearly 1500 companies operating here. Our foreign trade has exceeded 2 billion dollars for the last 2 years, we have nearly 27 factories and new businessmen visit me every day to invest. Businessmen ask me for my opinion on investment and I say, "Serbia is the country with the best opportunities in the Balkans. In the past two years, foreign direct investments in Serbia totalled 4.4 and 4.5 billion euros respectively, which is 60 per cent of all investments in this whole Balkan region. Serbia will host Expo 2027."
Ambassador Hami Aksoy also noted that Serbia is like a big construction site and Turkish companies should take advantage of the opportunities in Serbia.
Halkbank aims to increase the number of its branches in Belgrade to 15
Osman Arslan, General Manager of Halkbank and President of DEIK Turkey-Serbia Business Council, said that they are using the opportunities to create investment opportunities from Turkey to Serbia.
Stating that the Turkish nation has been implementing an understanding of governance based on right and justice for centuries, Mr. Arslan used the following expressions
"We need to continue the tradition, and the power of today is economy, diplomacy and technology. We are aware that we represent a great power. We need to work towards big goals. We see Halkbank's presence in Serbia as a great advantage, we have reached 43 branches, 10 of which are in Belgrade, and we aim to increase this to 15. We started with 10 million Euros, our capital has reached 200 million Euros in equity and we continue our way with a credit support of more than 1 billion Euros. If you ask us for more financing, we are ready for it. We aim to reflect the power of Türkiye here, Türkiye is now too narrow for Turkish business people and we have to improve this."
"We aim to build a strong communication network by bringing together Turkish origin and Turkey-friendly business people"
Levent Sadık Ahmet, Chairman of DTIK Balkans Representatives Board and DTIK Greece Country Representative Levent Sadık Ahmet stated that they gathered in order to increase the communication between diaspora representatives and to come together in common projects.
Stating that the Balkans is one of the places that Türkiye considers important for both historical and strategic reasons, Ahmet said: "Turkey is engaged in various diplomatic, economic and humanitarian initiatives to promote stability and co-operation in the Balkans. As DTIK, our motto is 'diaspora diplomacy'. With these diplomacy activities, we aim to build a strong communication network by bringing together Turkish origin and Türkiye-friendly business people residing abroad and to share and present it to you with an effective accumulation."
Ahmet said that DTİK, which aims to add value to Türkiye's national power not only economically but also strategically, will be the address of the union of members of bureaucracy, diplomacy, academia, international business and trade, culture-arts and sports all over the world.
Aziz Arslan, General Manager of Halkbank Serbia and country representative of DTİK Serbia, stated that Turkish associations and foundations abroad came together within their councils with a common consciousness.
Arslan stated that they want to strengthen their unity and that they are working to make the Turkish business world more visible in the international arena with the services they will provide.