On April 15, 2015, the American-Turkish Council, together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), co-sponsored a roundtable forum at the TOBB offices in Washington, DC to discuss Turkey’s 2015 G-20 presidency. After brief opening comments by Khush Choksy, VP for Turkey and Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ATC President Howard Beasey moderated an informative discussion focusing on Turkey’s priorities for the business-oriented B-20, intended to bring together business leaders from the G-20 economies. The event featured Turkey’s B-20 Sherpa Sarp Kalkan, the U.S. B-20 Sherpa Gary Litman, and the Director of TEPAV’s G-20 Study Center Ussal Şahbaz.
The roundtable focused on Turkey’s three main priorities for the 2015 B-20: inclusiveness, investment, and implementation. Sarp Kalkan emphasized Turkey’s desire to implement a limited number of recommendations by the G-20 business community rather than expand an already exhaustive list of suggestions developed in previous years. Kalkan, for example, expounded on efforts to ratify and implement a Trade Facilitation Agreement, directly support development in emerging market countries, and advocate for regulatory consistency in the global business market. Roundtable discussants noted Turkey’s interest in establishing a permanent International Business Advisory Council to lobby on behalf of B-20 recommendations moving forward.
The discussants also detailed Turkey’s emphasis on inclusiveness, illustrating a desire to integrate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the global value chain, thereby compelling multinationals to work with businesses in local markets. In addition, the B-20 Sherpas reviewed components of several task force priorities including infrastructure and investment, youth employment, and female enterprise.
The roundtable was an instructive segue into what will undoubtedly be a busy summer of G-20 events, which promise to leverage private sector voices and concerns in the lead up to November’s G-20 Antalya Summit. Attendees found the discussion to be informative and helpful in framing their sector’s priorities within the G-20 context.