The foremost purpose of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK) is to pave the way for the development of Turkey’s economic, commercial, industrial and financial relations with foreign countries as well as international business communities. DEİK believes that increasing industrial cooperation, widening the foreign trade network and opening the Turkish service sector up to the global economy are essential in achieving this target.
DEİK has also undertaken the mission of the effective integration of Turkey’s economy into the global economy. Acting on this mission, DEİK makes every effort to find new fields of cooperation in foreign markets. At the same time, DEİK strives for the better utilization of existing business opportunities in various sectors. It also makes an active effort to promote Turkey and its economy abroad in order to accelerate the development of business relations and foreign direct investment across Turkey. Informing Turkish businessmen about the existing business opportunities abroad also constitutes one of DEİK’s major tasks.
In this respect, DEİK is committed to maintaining a close cooperation with its “counterpart institutions”. DEİK aims to provide a platform where the business community can meet to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues that can contribute to the enhancement of mutual understanding and business relations. DEİK acts as an intermediary between the public and private sectors due to its close working relations with all governmental bodies and private sector institutions in Turkey, as well as relevant public authorities and private sector organizations in foreign countries.
DEİK was formed in 1988 and gained its legal mandate as a private sector institution due to the enactment of the new regulation based on Law number 5174 / clause 58. According to the new regulation which came into force on June 23, 2008, DEİK was reorganized by the prominent private sector institutions of Turkey such as unions, foundations and associations.
Close collaboration with its “founding institutions” has enabled DEİK to expand its fields of service far beyond its members by embracing also the members of these institutions operating throughout Turkey. DEIK’s nation-wide activities have therefore made it the major coordinating institution of the Turkish private sector’s foreign economic relations.
DEİK’s General Assembly is composed of representatives from the founding private sector institutions, Chairmen of the existing Business Councils, representatives appointed by the Executive Board of TOBB (Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey) and honorary members. DEİK’s Board of Directors is elected by the General Assembly for the duration of two years. DEİK’s Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring coordination among the Business Councils, as well as supervising DEİK activities.
The Chairman of TOBB is also the Chairman of DEİK. The Board of Directors elects 6 to 8 representatives who form DEİK’s Executive Board which directs and coordinates DEİK activities in the light of the strategies and policies determined by the Board of Directors. The Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors is also the Chairman of DEİK’s Executive Board.
The Board of Auditors is composed of 5 members elected by DEİK’s Board of Directors for two years. It is responsible for auditing all of DEİK’s activities.
DEİK mainly operates through Bilateral Business Councils. DEIK’s Bilateral Business Councils are established by a cooperation agreement signed with foreign counterparts with the purpose of promoting business relations. These Business Councils ensure an effective follow-up mechanism and a continuous flow of information to member companies on trade and industrial cooperation possibilities.
Business Councils consist of two sides, one is the Turkish side and the other one is a counterpart institution in the relevant country, which is usually a representative body of the country’s private sector. The Councils meet regularly each year. As of June 2009, there are 82 business councils operating under DEİK.
The Turkish sides of Business Councils are formed by member companies who have already undertaken business relations or who plan to develop such relations with each relevant country. Turkish companies are free to take part in every group of Business Councils which are divided into 8 different regions under the Secretariat General of DEİK. In this respect, one Turkish company may join more than one group of Business Councils by appointing more than one representative. Thus, as of June 2009, DEİK has more than 1400 representatives from more than 700 member companies.
Each business council has its own General Assembly and each General Assembly elects its own Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of each business council elects its own Chairman for two years.
The World Turkish Business Council is a newly established Business Council which is composed of Turkish companies operating outside Turkey, business associations established by Turkish businessmen in foreign countries, senior executives of Turkish origin in leading multinational corporations and other international institutions. The Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and DEİK is the Chairman of the World Turkish Business Council and it has its board of executives and its own General Assembly which convenes annually.
In addition to organizing Business Council activities, DEİK also takes a proactive and direct role in the cooperation with both regional and international organizations. DEİK represents Turkey on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation–Business Council which brings together the business communities of the12 member states.
The World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Multilateral Investments Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Developing 8 (D-8) are some of the international institutions with which DEİK tries to develop its cooperation in order to build an even higher level of interest among the Turkish business community.
Since 1997, DEİK has been organizing annual “Energy Conferences” in Istanbul in close cooperation with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) in order to introduce and emphasize Turkey’s geo-political importance in the “East–West” and “North–South” energy corridors. Another traditional and international DEİK event is the “London Finance and Investment Congress” which brings together the world’s top international financial institutions each year in London.
DEİK attaches great importance to the regions where the activities of Turkish businessmen are intensive or developing. The series of panels entitled “Where is Eurasia Heading To?”, the meeting organized in cooperation with INEA called “Summit of Southeastern Europe” and “Economy Forum for Northern – Southern Europe” are examples of DEIK’s regional activities.
DEIK’s Turkish-American Business Council (TAİK) organizes an Investment Conference in New York every year where high-level Turkish and US government and private sector representatives analyze the current state of affairs in the Turkish economy and the corporate world as well as providing an outlook on the investment opportunities. Another traditional event of the Business Council is its Joint Annual Conference with ATC (American Turkish Council) on Turkey-US Relations in Washington DC, which has been organized for the past 28 years.
Another major regional business event organized by DEİK is the Turkish-Arab Economic Forum, realized in cooperation with Al Iktissad Wal Aamal Group under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Turkey. The Turkish-Arab Economic Forum brings together a select group of speakers and participants from Turkey, the Arab world, and other countries, including high-ranking government officials and policy makers, banking finance, trade and industry leaders.
DEİK maintains a business portal providing comprehensive information for foreign businessmen on the Turkish economy and DEİK’s activities. The “How To Do Business, Investors’ Guide Turkey” in cooperation with Deloitte and a series of Doing Business Guides, various sector reports, regular newsletters, thematic periodicals, and country economic bulletins are prepared by DEIK and distributed to member companies and other relevant institutions. Members are updated regarding business opportunities and domestic, regional and global economic developments on a daily basis.
In order to provide the businessmen of the world with more information regarding new developments in the world of business, DEİK collaborates with exclusive research institutions like the Oxford Business Group (OBG) and the Journal of Foreign Affairs. The annual “The Report” series, produced in cooperation with the OBG has gained worldwide interest.
DEIK Secreteriat General and Representative Offices
DEİK’s Secretariat General carries out necessary activities such as research, coordination and organization for all Business Councils. DEİK’s Secretariat General manages and supervises all the activities of the Business Councils and their relations with other private sector institutions, embassies and ministries as well as counterpart institutions. Furthermore, the Secretariat General is responsible for setting up, coordinating and supervising all relations with international and regional economic, financial, research institutions and universities in Turkey and relevant countries.
DEIK’s headquarters is located in Istanbul and it has representative offices in Washington, Moscow, and Ankara. DEİK also has representatives in 35 leading industrial cities in Turkey and in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Chairman of Board of Directors: M. Rifat Hisarciklioglu
Chairman of Executive Board: Rona Yircali
Secretary General: Ufuk Yilmaz