Büyüyen Sürdürülebilir İş Bölgesel Toplantısı


Opening Remarks by

Mahmood Ayub

Location: Istanbul, DEIK
Address: TOBB Plaza Talatpaşa cad. No:3 Kat:5   34394 Gültepe Levent


Dear Mr. Celik Kurtoglu, the President of Southeastern Europe Business Council,
Mr. Rona Yircali, the Vice President of Foreign Economic Relations Board,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, 

Allow me to begin  by expressing  my pleasure on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme for being able to organize this event,  in partnership with DEIK, the Foreign Economic Relations Board.

·        This is one of the  unique opportunities for the business world and international institutions to get together, explore trade opportunities and brainstorm on the recently launched initiative of the Growing Sustainable Business, which we, as the United Nations Development Programme, have been actively developing in Southeastern Europe as well as in Turkey.

·        The strategic aim of the Growing Sustainable Business initiative is to facilitate business-led enterprise solutions to poverty reduction and the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Responding to the world's main development challenges and to the calls of civil society, the Millenium Development Goals promote poverty reduction, education, maternal health, gender equality, sustainable development, and aim at combating child mortality, AIDS and other diseases.

·        The Growing Sustainable Business initiative recognizes the critical contribution of the private sector, large and small, foreign and domestic, to poverty reduction. As UNDP we believe that sustainable social impact is greatest when there is a convergence of commercial and development interests.

·        In this context, the Growing Sustainable Business is set up to broker partnerships, which enable a company to engage with the host Government, civil society, the donor community, and investment partners. Such partnerships mitigate investment risks by resolving obstacles and facilitating access to supplementary finance, new markets, and information.

·        In other words, the Growing Sustainable Business delivery mechanism helps reduce unquantifiable risk and additional costs to business when making pro-poor investments.

·        It is a platform for companies to engage in pro-poor business activities in developing countries with a challenging business environment. Looking beyond social investments and philanthropy, the Growing Sustainable Business mechanism is a service offered to companies that seek to develop commercially viable business projects within their core business or value chain with a view to increasing profitability and/or engaging in new markets.

·        Concerning the Southeast European and Caucasus region, the Growing Sustainable Business initiative’s goal is to broker partnerships that enable the private sector to engage in specific pro-poor investment projects that are both, commercially attractive and address the local development needs.

·        On this note, please allow me to welcome our Growing Sustainable Business brokers from Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Moldova, Albania, Georgia and Ukraine, who are all here to initiate successful business partnerships with Turkish businessmen.

·        The strategy to enable growing sustainable business would consist of engaging private sector in innovative partnerships grounded in market-based incentives to accelerate progress towards the needs identified in different regions and sectors in the country.

·        The Growing Sustainable Business sets an environment where the poor have access to affordable and adequate products and services to ensure a better quality of life. These solutions are facilitated where profits and incentives justify commercially viable (not philanthropic), pro-poor, realistic and realizable investments and where financial sustainability is embedded in the design.

·        To achieve this goal, the Growing Sustainable Business initiative links as many partners as possible from the private, public as well as civil sector in order to harness  their comparative advantages.

·        Let me conclude by saying that UNDP is well positioned to perform this role because of its convening power, its development track record in the participating countries, its impartiality, reputation, brand, political reach and its access to regional and global development networks.

·        Finally, I wish you all a successful conference, and hope you have fruitful bilateral meetings this afternoon. Thank you.


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