Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) is responsible for leading foreign economic relations of Turkish private sector in a myriad of sectors particularly foreign trade, international investment and services, international construction activities and logistics, exploring inward and outward investment opportunities as well as increasing the export volume of Turkish business and coordinating similar business development activities.
DEİK was established with this objective in 1986 and adopted a new structure with the Law No. 6552 enacted on 11 September 2014, being further empowered and assuming full responsibility of “managing the foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector". As of July 2016, DEİK has 103 founding institutions and 134 Business Councils, and approximately 1000 member companies which form these councils, as well as 2.000 representatives from the member companies.
Vision, Approach and Objectives
DEİK’s vision implies that Turkey is a country, which can shape economic and political developments regionally or globally in strong cooperation with its public and private sectors and civil society; which has sustained macroeconomic stability; which is globally competitive with leading entrepreneurs and brands; which is capable of generating high technology and innovations; which has a significant share in world trade; which is an important global investment, financial and R&D center, exhibiting high standards in all fields.
DEİK has a holistic approach to foreign economic relations and perform activities in a variety of fields such as foreign trade, inward foreign direct investment and outward foreign direct investment, international construction, energy, banking, finance and logistics.
In order to achieve these objectives, DEİK performs following activities: Providing consultation for public institutions and organizations when required; helping companies penetrate deeper into their current markets or access new markets; organizing international events; developing and executing strategies for foreign economic relations; generating critical information for the business community; working towards attracting more foreign direct investment to Turkey; helping companies expand their national, regional and global networks; organizing training programs with a view of building corporate capacities for companies willing to become global players; supporting public diplomacy and acting as a catalyst in developing bilateral and multilateral social relationships, chiefly among these are cultural and artistic activities; representing Turkish business community in front of international and multinational organizations; and lobbying for Turkey in international platforms.
DEIK’s Organizational Structure
DEIK performs its activities with the support of 103 founding institutions and members. DEIK's organs are the General Assembly, Board of Directors, Executive Board, Board of Auditors, Business Councils, High Advisory Board and Advisory Boards.
Board of Directors
Elected by the General Assembly for a period of four years, DEIK’s Board of Directors is composed of thirty five members including the Chairman of the Board. DEIK’s Board of Directors is composed of five permanent members, who are the representatives of certain founding institutions - namely TOBB, TIM, TUSIAD, MUSIAD and TMB-, and business council leaders, representative of other founding institutions and other members elected among other General Assembly delegates. DEIK’s Chairman is assigned among the Board members by the Republic of Turkey Minister of Economy.
The Executive Board is composed of the Chairman of the Executive Board and twelve members who are elected among and by the members of the Board of Directors. The Chairman of the Board of Directors also functions as the Chairman of the Executive Board. Five members of the Executive Board are elected among the representatives of TOBB, TIM, TUSIAD, MUSIAD and TMB; two members among the representatives of other founding institutions,three members among the business council chairmen while one other is elected among other General Assembly delegates. Two vice chairmen are elected among and by the Executive Board members.
DEIK’s Board of Auditors
DEIK’s Board of Auditors is composed of five permanent and five substitute members, who are elected among the General Assembly delegates for a period of four years. It is essential that members of the Board of Auditors do not assume any other responsibility in other bodies of DEIK and business councils.
It is through Business Councils that DEIK establishes corporate cooperation. There are three different types of business councils, namely Country Business Councils, Sectoral Business Councils and Special Purpose Business Councils.
Business Councils are established through cooperation agreements signed with foreign counterparts with the purpose of promoting business relations with these countries. Bilateral country councils which are founded in 127 countries as of July 2016 have been gathered under 6 regional councils (in Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, European, Middle Eastern and Gulf ).
Business Councils consist of two parties, one is the Turkish party and the other one is a counterpart institution in the relevant country, which is usually a representative body of the respective country’s private sector. Councils meet regularly each year at "Business Councils Joint Meetings".
Each sectoral and special purpose business council within DEIK convenes a separate General Assembly annually and a general assembly meeting with an election every two years. Each business council elects its own Executive Committee during these general assembly meetings. The Executive Committee members then elect the Chairman for the Business Council.
Executive Boards of the Business Councils meet at regular intervals to discuss bilateral or multilateral cooperation opportunities, challenges and current developments. The executive boards are responsible for developing recommendations about the policies, solutions and mechanism which are necessary to improve commercial and economic relations within the framework of the main strategies designated by the Board of Directors, and doing research in order to identify related opportunities. Business Councils also carry out promotional activities which are related to their field of activity.
Several sectoral business councils have been established within the body of DEIK in order to improve Turkey's place in the global value chain and promote the export of services. Health Tourism Business Council, Education Economy Business Council, Energy Business Council, Logistics Business Council, and International Technical Consultancy Business Council continue their operations.
The World-Turkish Business Council, which was founded as a Special Purpose Business Council, aims at gathering all Turkish entrepreneurs around the world under a single umbrella. The Foreign Investments Business Council aims at being the leader corporate body which analyses Turkish private sector's foreign investment dynamics, meets the needs of the private sector during foreign investment processes as well as promotes close coordination with the public sector.
High Advisory Board
High Advisory Board convenes at least once annually under the chairmanship of the Turkish Minister of Economy in order for the revision of DEIK's annual activities and harmonisation and evaluation of them with Turkey's economic strategies and interests. Members of the Board are assigned by the Minister.
When it is deemed necessary for the strategy building activities and sectoral operations of DEIK's business councils, temporary advisory boards are established and they are composed of real persons or institutions, which are related to foreign economic relations and assigned by the Board of Directors.
In line with the objectives of DEIK, companies and self-employed entities which are established in accordance with the Turkish Commercial Code and operate in Turkey and liaison offices of the foreign companies which are based and operate in Turkey can join more than one Business Council upon approval of the Board of Directors.
The World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Multilateral Investments Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Developing 8 (D-8) are some of the international institutions with which DEIK tries to develop its cooperation and to work toward building new opportunities for the Turkish business community.
DEIK attaches special importance to organization of events with an international focus. DEIK’s Turkish-American Business Council organizes an “Investment Conference” in New York every year where high-level Turkish and US government and private sector representatives analyse the current state of affairs in the Turkish economy and the corporate world as well as provide an outlook on the investment opportunities. The Business Council also organizes its Joint Annual Conference with ATC (American Turkish Council) dedicated to Turkey-US Relations in Washington DC for 34 years.
The German Investment and Cooperation Conference, aiming to promote bilateral trade and collaboration between Turkish and German SMEs, is organized with the top German partner institutions.
Another traditional and international event of DEIK is the “London Finance and Investment Congress” which brings together the world’s top international financial institutions each year in London.
Another major regional business and economics event organized by DEIK is the “Turkish-Arab Economic Forum”, organized in cooperation with Al Iktissad Wal Aamal Group under the patronage of the Prime Ministry of Turkey bringing 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.
DEIK also works towards developing strategies regarding foreign economic relations and provides information about the economies of the countries where Turkish businesspeople operate and shares opportunities for cooperation via its reports. DEIK maintains a business portal for foreign businessmen, a portal which contains comprehensive information about the Turkish economy and DEIK’s activities. Publications such as “How to do business: Investors’ Guide to Turkey” and “Turkish Business Outlook”, a series of Business Guides, and various sector reports are prepared by DEIK. Establishing various platforms on the internet; DEİK maintains www.studyinturkey.org.tr to provide information about Turkish universities and higher education opportunities in Turkey for foreign students, www.dtik.org.tr to enable all Turkish entrepreneurs around the world to communicate over a single portal; www.taik.org.tr to inform the world about Turkish economy.
DEIK cooperates with important research institutions and leading media organs in order to stay up-to-date about the recent global developments, hence providing thorough information for businesspeople.
Attaching as much importance to “competencies” as to its “activities”, DEIK launches corporate initiatives gauged according to the ever-changing needs of the era and works to build competencies in areas such as export of services, cross investment, and building exportation and financial capacities of SMEs, which fall within the scope of foreign economic relations. Such functions of DEIK are undertaken by “working groups” which are composed of experienced staff of Secretariat General as well as other DEIK members.
DEIK's Secretariat General
DEIK’s Secretariat General executes all activities of DEIK and the Business Councils - defined in accordance with the Guidelines and legislation - in line with the decisions taken by the Board of Directors, the Executive Board as well as the executive boards of the business councils. The Secretariat General also steers all activities of the Business Councils in line with the strategies and policies specified by the Board of Directors and coordinates all relations with other DEIK organs.