Esteemed Members and Stakeholders of the Machinery Manufacturing Industry,
Agricultural contributes 3 percent, or $2.5 trillion, to the global GDP of $85 trillion. Its share in the global commodity trade is 8.7 percent, which amounts to $1.6 trillion. Despite each individual country’s specific agricultural policies and efforts to be agriculturally self-sufficient, this high volume of trade is seen as an expression of both globalization and interdependency in the industry. Turkey is a very in terms of agricultural production thanks to its advantages in geography, climate and the diversity of agricultural products. 2018 data shows that Turkey is Europe’s second and the world’s ninth largest agricultural economy. In terms of agricultural added value, Turkey ranks fourth in the world. Agriculture is the only industry in the world that was able to increase its share during the rapid decline of consumption and trade in goods caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, agriculture is an area that has, to some extent, slipped off the agendas of national policies with the crazy pace of globalization. However, its importance was swiftly recognized long before the destruction caused by the pandemic, when trade and technology wars became hot topics on the global agenda. Machinery and equipment investments are the fastest growing investment category. It is clear that we will see the effects of protective policies not only in the industry but also in agriculture. Having a strong agricultural industry is also going to put governments in a better position when negotiating bilateral agreements as not all countries are self-sufficient. Turkey is in a position to strengthen its hand in the upcoming future as it is rich in terms of soil quality and climate.
As the Machinery Exporters’ Association, we are tasked with showing the world the high global competitiveness capabilities of our agricultural machinery manufacturers, whose share of machinery exports exceeds $1 billion among the $19 billion total machinery exports, and who provide a trade surplus. We must support them in building their R&D and innovation infrastructures and internalizing these concepts. We strive to encourage our manufacturers to move towards high-efficiency and value-added products or systems in this area, where technological trends are rapidly changing and diversifying. Agriculture is changing. As such, it is our obligation to develop high-performance and technologically advanced machines and facilities to meet the needs of farmers in every country, starting with our own.
We are aware that developing digital solutions poses challenges in an industry like agriculture, where fairs are turning into grand, highly anticipated shows and festivals. On the other hand, we are very proud and pleased that our Ministry of Trade has assigned this mission to Konya Selçuk University and our Association. For the first time ever, our virtual fair AgriVirtual will be organized using a locally developed software. We are confident that AgriVirtual’s success will set a good example for subsequent virtual fairs, which will undoubtedly continue until life returns to normal.
Chairman of Machinery Exporters’ Association