An International Architecture for Inclusive Growth
His Excellency Burak Akçapar
Asc. Prof. Dr.
Ambassador of Turkey to India
International Business Horizon 2012
Amity International Business School
Noida, 23 February 2012
I am very pleased to be invited to deliver one of the opening addresses today at this prestigious event in this school of excellence.
It is a true honor to address this august gathering of Vice Chancellors, Directors, Officials, Professors, and students.
If you allow me to quip, I sometimes remember with a big smile, a remark by Tom Friedman who counseled American students to study hard because billions of Indians and Chinese are vying for their jobs.
He also wrote that India has at least one reason to succeed on its upwardly path: this is the only country in the world where you can find billboards advertising tutors in chemistry or mathematics.
Students of Amity International Business School and Amity Global Business School experience first hand the education revolution that is unfolding in India.
India is a nation that is rising inexorably in the East and Turkey is a nation that is rising inexorably in the West.
Both countries are among the emerging set of nations that will likely help shape the upper echelons of global economic and political power structure.
Morgan Stanley forecasts that in the professional lifetime of the students of Amity University Turkish economy would be larger than the current giants Germany and France.
Our immediate objective is to move up from the 16th slot to the 10th slot in 2023.
The latest global economic crisis has given us hope that none of these are lofty unrealistic assertions.
Both Indian and Turkish economies have grown spectacularly at a time of global economic earthquake.
The global economic crisis has accelerated the inevitable ascendancy of the Asian continent spanning from Turkey to Japan.
The crisis has also shaken some of our key assumptions about economy and development.
The idea of capitalism unbound is no longer a passable premise.
Instead we are talking about personal, corporate and societal responsibility.
Indians are familiar with these concepts as Gandhian principles.
For us these are the Ataturk’s principles. Article 1 of our Constitution states that Turkey is a democratic, secular, “social” state, governed by the rule of law.
We are also free market economies with very vibrant private sectors.
Our companies and entrepreneurs are leading our countries’ dazzling economic performance.
It is indeed most gratifying to see that many of them are also investing in socially responsible projects and initiatives.
A traditional Turkish saying goes: “one eateth, other one looketh, hence the catastrophe breaketh”.
A gross imbalance in income and opportunity only breeds discord within any society. This is as true nationally as it is internationally.
Poverty, hunger and malnourishment, massive unemployment, lack of access to proper healthcare and education, infectious diseases have existed throughout human history as economic and social ills. These plagued humanity in one country or region or another, in one era or another.
Globalization is a much abused and oft misunderstood concept.
But it is a straightforward assumption that in a world when any event can be watched in real time around the clock by people sitting at their sofas, or when almost any mobile phone turn any citizen into a global journalist, such ills can no longer be sustained without impunity.
The concept of “inclusive growth” or broad-‐based or shared growth must be embedded firmly within our thinking on development, on national and international politics, on even security.
The world we live in is in fact very uneven where shared growth is an aspiration not a fact.
As the UN Secretary General notes in the introduction to the “Compact for Inclusive Growth and Prosperity”:
“With a combined population exceeding 880 million people, the Least Developed Countries include the poorest and most vulnerable segment of humanity. Most of their populations live on less than a dollar a day and face profound challenges to their health and well-being. In spite of their painstaking efforts and those of the international community, the LDCs’ potential remains untapped, and their economies are increasingly marginalized in the global arena. These countries are at the epicentre of a continuing developmental emergency.”
The Compact otherwise known as the Report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Eminent Persons Group on the Least Developed Countries point “to weak human assets, limited physical and institutional infrastructure, dependence on fragile agricultural sectors and a limited range of exports as the main factors hampering the LDCs’ economic prospects.
The Group’s main finding is that the gap between the LDCs and the rest of the world will continue to widen unless the structural limitations of their economies are addressed.
With the slogan “No MDGs without LDCs”, the report also emphasizes the importance of this group of countries in the global economy and their relevance to the development agenda of the international community.”
The report also underscores the need for the LDC’s to take active part in particularly in improving their governance. Unless the LDC’s help themselves they cannot be helped.
We in Turkey do not believe that the terminology of LDC is accurately depicting the countries concerned, which although poor in income terms are otherwise rich in cultural heritage. They are all nations capable of a profound leap forward when given the opportunity.
Thus, the lion’s share still resides with the international community whose support is essential to break the cycle of economic underdevelopment and poverty and even war.
It is incumbent on the rest of the international community to assist and promote the least earning and most vulnerable countries in engendering economic growth and sustained development, to build human and institutional capacities in a bid also to eradicate poverty. Providing resources and technical assistance, tailored to enhance their productive capacities and address structural deficiencies, would help fulfill this mandate.
In our day and age, the international actors are obviously not limited to nation states alone, but also prominently include international organizations, non-governmental and civil society organizations as well as the corporate sector. It is a social responsibility we cannot escape neither morally nor indeed practically.
Istanbul Program of Action
Turkey is a responsible international actor in the society of nations. We consider our foreign policy to be proactively constitutive of an emergent world order. In Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu’s terms this is not only a policy of extinguishing fires but also of planning cities.
The question of shared growth and the position of the LDC’s was taken up authoritatively in May last year in Istanbul with the participation of around 10 thousand people, including heads of state and government, ministers including from India, academics, intellectuals, corporate and ngo representatives.
The consequent Istanbul Program of Action is a comprehensive document that contains actions to be taken until 2020 both by the LDCs internationally to promote sustained development of the LDCs.
The document confirms and strengthens the cooperation and partnership commitments of the international community to the LDCs. The Istanbul document sets out the cooperation framework and the responsibilities of the UN system, international institutions such as World Bank, IMF and WTO, developed countries as the development partners, developing countries within the context of South-South Cooperation and LDCs themselves.
Going beyond the earlier Brussels document’s emphasis on aid for trade and social development, the Istanbul program’s core elements are increasing the productive capacities of the LDCs and promoting investments to that effect. It also institutes an emphasis on efficient monitoring.
An nascent feature of the evolving international system is the importance of new fora that better reflect the realities of our day rather those of the immediate post-World War II days.
Turkey, the 16th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest economy in Europe considers G-20, which brings together developed countries and emerging economies, as the most suitable platform to addres the international financial and economic problems.
Last week Mexico convened the first G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, where the Ministers discussed the role G-20 can play in overcoming the obstacles to the solution of global problems and in providing more effective global governance.
Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu’s keynote speech at the session entitled “Building Global Governance Responses for Human Development” underscored the direct link between political systems
and economic development.
Referring to Turkey’s support for the Least Developed Countries, Mr. Davutoğlu reminded Turkey’s commitment to providing 200 million Dollars financial aid each year.
But perhaps most importantly, Turkey proposed convening of a joint meeting of G20 and Least Developed Countries.
A new world order is in the making. Old institutions and new are coexisting. As all living entities the old will eventually give way to the young.
Youth must be empowered to take on the challenges of the day when it is their time.
As the body that represents 90% of the world economy, 80% of the world trade and two thirds of the world population, we believe this is already G20’s time.
The UN General Assembly demonstrated recently in the case of Syria with overwhelming vote that this is also its time.
The Istanbul Conference of 10 thousand representatives showcased that it is its time as well.
There is an enduring need for variable geometry, mutually reinforcing institutional architecture.
After all, promotion of inclusive growth needs representative institutions and cooperation among various institutions and processes.
This is the international architecture that Turkey and India can nurture together in their common pursuit to engender inclusive growth and thus forge a better future for all of humanity.
Thank you for your kind attention.
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