Message from the Minister
As the Ministry of Customs and Trade, we strive to ensure facilitation of trade and security of the international logistics chain in light of our mission statement. In this regard, we strongly believe that in order to provide prosperity and welfare in our society, we need to increase the competitiveness of our economy and keep it integrated in global economy.
In carrying our activities, we are firmly committed to 2023 goals of our government. In this respect, we work hard to let our country reach a total export volume of $ 500 billion and total trade volume of $ 1 trillion by 2023, which is centennial anniversary of the Republic. Due to the increasing trade volume, we continuously develop projects for the automation of customs clearance and control systems to make paperless trade possible, accelerate customs and trade procedures and reduce human factor in carrying out transactions. For this purpose, we have developed single window system, furnished our customs offices with equipment for non-intrusive customs control and modernized our border crossing points through build-operate-transfer method.
In the customs field, it is important to comply with international developments and standards. In compliance with this necessity, as we have become party to many international agreements, we already adopted World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement in the beginning of 2016 as 71st country. In accordance with this Agreement, we have almost completed preparations for the establishment of a National Committee on Trade Facilitation that will function as a cooperation and consultation board with active participation of both public and private sector representatives.
We also have to comply with the developments at the European Union due to the Customs Union between the EU and Turkey since 1996. Turkish Customs is one of the most prepared sector for the EU membership thanks to legislative reforms and EU projects in many areas, among which Scanning Systems, Vehicle Search Sheds with cold storage facilities, IT Systems, CCN/CSI, NCTS and ITMS, capacity building Twinning Projects. We have also been implementing community Programme Customs 2020 very actively since 2002.
Regarding our domestic market, we aim at protecting 79 million consumers through systematic and random market surveillance, regulation of the retail market and some local consumer protection boards. We work on facilitating establishment of companies in Turkey to attract more Foreign Direct Investment through eliminating red-tape and cumbersome procedures. Moreover, we develop projects to enhance usage of e-commerce by our traders and consumers to fulfill requirements of a modern economy.
We also encourage and support cooperatives to stimulate participation and contribution of people in the economy. In this respect, one of our projects aiming at involving women in the economic life via cooperatives is worth mentioning. We have started that project because we know that for a strong economy active participation of women is essential. As a proof of the importance we attach to this project is that we started it in 2012 and we did not set any deadline to it.
In all our efforts, we take into account the interests of our economic operators, consumers as well as economic goals of our government. We also take into consideration to be a well-functioning part of global economy and create synergy with other international economic actors to increase the benefits of globalization on the basis of win-win principle.