Hisarcıklıoğlu received the Spanish Order of Civil Merit
27.06.2019 / Ankara- The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, for his contributions to the two countries' relations, received the Spanish Order Civil Merit with degree of Encomienda. Hisarcıklıoğlu thanked the Spanish Ambassador Juan Gonzalez Barba who presented the Order of Merit on behalf of King of Spain VI Felipe and emphasized that he views this award as the success of the business world.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “I accept and receive this meaningful and distinguished award together with the principal representatives of the Turkish business world and my fellow Chamber and Exchange Presidents. We will continue to increase our bilateral trade and investments. We will ensure that more companies make mutual trade and investment.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu spoke at the ceremony, stating that Turkey and Spain are two ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean. Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Spain's culture, achievements in the arts and sports are closely watched in Turkey, “Barcelona-Real Madrid matches are as intensely anticipated as Fenerbahce-Galatasaray matches.”
Stating that this proximity is reflected on the political and economic relations, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “We are working together in NATO, the OECD and in the European Council. We undertook very important tasks together in the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations. Spain has shown its friendship once again with its support in Turkey’s European Union accession process.”
- “We will increase bilateral trade and investments”
Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that the trade relations between the two countries are at a good level and said:
“Spain is among Turkey’s most important top 10 trading partners. Investments made from Spain to Turkey exceed 10 billion Euros. Close to 700 Spanish companies are operating in Turkey. This is an indication of the confidence of Spain in Turkey and the Turkish economy. We are glad to see that Turkish companies have shown interest in Spain in recent years. Around 100 of our companies have invested in Spain.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that TOBB has been working hard to improve commercial relations with Spain. Stating that he is honored that his contribution to bilateral relations was awarded with the Spanish Order Civil Merit with degree of Encomienda, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “I express my gratitude to His Majesty the King of Spain Felipe VI for considering myself worthy of this order.
I would also like to thank the High Chancellor of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. Of course, I would especially like to thank Mr. Ambassador, who is successfully representing Spain in our country, who nominated me.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they will continue to increase bilateral trade and investment, “We will ensure more bilateral trade and investment. Turkey and Spain together will grow as we support each other, making continued progress possible.”
- “We support Turkey’s EU accession process”
Spanish Ambassador Juan Gonzalez Barba also underlining that they are at a good level of economic relations with Turkey “Last year trade volume between the two countries surpassed 13bn Euros. Turkey is the third country with which Spain trades the most outside of the EU.”
Emphasizing that mutual investments are continuing rapidly, Barba said that the devoted efforts of TOBB and Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu have contributed to this.
Barba said, stating that they also appreciate Hisarcıklıoğlu’s work on development of Turkey-EU relations, “Spain supports Turkey’s EU accession process and argues Turkey deserves a fair evaluation like other candidate countries.”
Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) President Gürsel Baran, Turkey Tradesmen and Artisans Confederation (TESK) Chairman Bendevi Palandöken and Türk-İş President Ergun Atalay spoke at the ceremony to congratulate Hisarcıklıoğlu. Many ambassadors also attended the ceremony.