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Rifat HİSARCIKLIOĞLU

President of
The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

The Eastern Black Sea has an almost idyllic geography. It's also at the intersection of the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Near East. 

It stands at the center of the Silk Road connecting Asia and Europe. Additionally, it is strategically significant in regards to securely meeting energy supply and demand.

There are three different corridors for the Silk Road that will reconnect Europe and Asia. Tens of billions of dollars of investments are slated for the Central Corridor, which includes Turkey.  

Starting from China, the Central Corridor reaches Turkey via Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, and from there it connects to Europe. 

In addition to transport infrastructures, the excess of procedures for foreign trade transactions between these countries, lack of standardization and the use of noncompliant systems are among the problems that need to be addressed. 

The land customs gates that we have modernized as TOBB increase the potential for this route to be used. 

Trabzon is one of the key cities of this region and the Silk Road. As always proudly emphasized, it is the city conquered by Fatih; where Yavuz was raised; where Suleiman the Magnificent was born. Trabzon has been a city of commerce in all periods of history. 

The trade between Asia and Europe, between Russia and the southern countries, was done from here. Iran would reach the Black Sea from here. That's why it's always been a center of attraction. Now the same opportunity has arisen once again.

Another beautiful reflection of this is in tourism. Tourism is a golden egg laying goose for the Black Sea. 

Trabzon is also moving very fast in this regard. Five years ago, it hosted around 300,000 tourists. Now, it's increased to 3 million a year, 10 times what it used to be. Dozens of planes land here every day now.

Trabzon should lead the Eastern Black Sea in tourism as well as in trade. The region as a whole must be marketed. 

Then a lot more tourists can be attracted, so the whole region wins. Trabzon has potential and entrepreneurial spirit. 

Our Chambers and Commodity Exchanges in Trabzon are working with this vision as is befitting of the city. For one thing, they all became accredited Chamber-Commodity Exchanges. In other words, they have been certified and documented by international institutions to provide services at European standards and quality.

Our Trabzon CCI and CE are undertaking big projects and providing fresh resources to the city with these projects. 

Trabzon International Silk Road Businessmen's Summit is a result of this vision. 

Our Trabzon CCI is undertaking a great job which will add value to the city and increase its brand value. I congratulate them. 

The panels, business meetings interviews and promotions which will take place during the summit will make Trabzon stand out as a center of attraction. 

I heartily congratulate those who have contributed and wish all participants bountiful profits.