World trade ministers convene in Istanbul
Trade ministers from across the world gathered in Istanbul yesterday in a preliminary meeting ahead of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists' (TUSKON) Turkey-World Trade Bridge 2009, which is set to start today and will continue through June 7. A total of four deputy prime ministers, 20 state ministers and nine deputy ministers from 33 countries came together to discuss business opportunities. With the addition of six ambassadors, the number of countries represented at the Istanbul World Trade Ministers Summit reached 39. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan said the trade bridge event offers a great opportunity in the midst of the ongoing global economic crisis. Stating that the participant ministers will exchange views on ways to weather the harmful effects of the crisis, Caglayan said, "Twelve percent of total global trade volume is represented at this discussion table today." Caglayan also stressed the state's mission to clear the path of the private sector, adding that the summit was one of the most meaningful examples of cooperation between the public and private sectors. Also speaking at the meeting, TUSKON head Rizanur Meral said the Turkey-World Trade Bridge Summit 2009 was the product of eight months of relentless work. Nearly 55,000 business meetings will be held in the course of the three-day event, he added. Caglayan also hosted a reception for the visiting trade ministers. TUSKON has previously organized eight other trade bridge summits, each of which has remarkably helped Turkish businessmen access new markets and diversify Turkey's foreign trade. Nearly 3, 200 businessmen from Turkey and 2,300 others from 135 countries around the world are expected to attend this year's foreign trade bridge summit to discuss mutual business opportunities. The event is expected to highly contribute to Turkey's economy with an increase of more than $7 billion in trade.