Turkey’s strategic location combined with its trade agreements with other countries will make it an even more attractive destination for investors in the coming years, said Murat Sonmez, the managing director of the World Economic Forum, on Tuesday.
“This is a great opportunity for the country, the potential is even bigger if globalization 4.0 is implemented in the right way,” Sonmez said, adding that the country could become a key player in international trade networks and play a bigger role as a regional center of trade.
He noted that Turkey always had a very significant location connecting the East and the West.
“It is a given that the geographical location provides Turkey with important advantages, the country is within just a four-hour flight distance to 1.5 billion people and to an economy of over $20 trillion,” he highlighted.
Turkey is within the EU customs, and enjoys free trade agreements with 27 countries, allowing direct access to a market of a billion people, he added.
World in emergency
Pointing out that the world was entering a period of uncertainty driven by the climate crisis, Sonmez said: “No one can deny that the world is in a state of emergency at the moment.”
He added this theme for this year’s Annual Meeting: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World is a clear indicator to just how pressing all concerns are across geographies and industries.
“If we do not come together now, we may reach a tipping point,” he stressed, saying that this was one of the main reasons that the WEF published the Davos Manifesto 2020.
Sonmez further urged dialogue on a variety of issues, including the disintegration in Europe, increasing global trade conflicts, failing globalization and Brexit, adding: “Now, more than ever, we need to encourage positive dialogue to tackle the big challenges of our time.”
Young to shape future
Underlining the role of young people around the world, Sonmez said that in order for them to play their full role in shaping the future, they must be prepared to take up constructive roles and continue to be the driving force behind innovation.
“They need to stimulate for putting new initiatives into practice, contribute new ideas, drive the dialogue, action and change in their communities,” he said.
Young people have been active in the forum year-round and added valuable perspectives to our meetings, he noted, adding that bringing 10 young change-makers under the age of 20 would serve to add “a new dynamic and perspective.”
Beginning on Jan. 21, the four-day annual gathering will be held under the shadow of the fourth industrial revolution and its ensuing huge transformations in the global economy, from the rise of China and the big tech sector to worsening income inequality and the emergence of ethical companies.