Nihat Zeybekci
Minister of the Economy of the Republic of Turkey

Throughout history the Silk Road, by developing the economies of the regions and increasing the welfare level of the people, has created a bridge between East and West in terms of trade, culture, ideas and religions by sharing and transferring. Moreover, in terms of our countryĺs foreign trade the attaching importance of the new Silk Road route, intensified on the Asian region, has become the focal point of the world trade. According to the World Trade Organization statistics, in 2013 nearly 19% of the world trade has been carried out at the Silk Road route economies, a part of which is Turkey. The aforementioned rate all by itself puts forth the qualification of the potential of this historical route. For evaluating this potential, the Silk Road Businessmen Summit is being conducted once in three years in Trabzon for the purpose of the new cooperation projects to be implemented by the participant countries, institutions and organizations. Thereby, increasing economic and social welfare of the region is being contributed. In this regard, we truly believe that Silk Road will increase the effectiveness of the investment interactions between the Silk Road route countries and the new mechanisms, directed towards improvement of the foreign trade between these countries, will be created.

Apart from that, the 3rd Trabzon Silk Road Businessmen Summit which is organized in order to develop the economic relationship between countries of the Silk Road route, would create great opportunities for participants by establishing new business contacts and by gathering information about new markets in the period of restructuring of international relations and world trade system. Therefore, the mentioned summit organized in coordination with the Ministry of Economy has been included in the buyer missionĺs program.

Trabzon which will host this historical summit is located at one of the important logistic bases of the worldĺs oldest and longest trade road. From the past till today, export statistics of Trabzon which is one of the leading trade centers and which takes the first place at the Black Sea Regions export during the last 10 years has increased from 234 million USD to 1.1 billion dollars.

Today, Trabzon province is rapidly becoming a tourism, education, logistic and health center. Therefore, Trabzon has started selling many kinds of products such as plastic, chemicals, motorized vehicles to more than 100 countries from Canada to Peru, from South Africa to Equator etc. This remarkable achievement is a result of the dedicated efforts and strong dialogue of our public and private sectors. As a result of this, Trabzon has put forth its difference in every aspect and succeeded in becoming an economically prosperous region with its developed transportation facilities.

I truly believe that by introducing the export potentials this summit will contribute our region which is a part of the historical Silk Road for many years in order to reach the deserved export level and to establish the potential production and investment cooperation in the field of outstanding sectors of the region. In this context, I would like to congratulate the Eastern Black Sea Exporterĺs Association and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Trabzon for their efforts in organisation of the traditional Silk Road Businessmen Summit.

I would like to thank all of the participants of this historical Summit who wants to revive the Silk Road.