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Gaziantep shapes its Future: Gaziantep pushing its boundaries The second of the three workshops was held virtually on April 14-15 in cooperation with GIZ, TEPAV, and the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality
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27/04/2022 - Viewed 1139 times



Within the scope of the PEP - Promotion of Economic Prospects Programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the second of the three workshops with the title “Gaziantep Shapes its Future: Gaziantep pushing its limits” was carried out virtually on April 14-15, 2022 with the cooperation of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, TEPAV, and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality.

The first of the three workshops, where the current problems and opportunities of Gaziantep were identified, was held on November 9-10, 2021. In the second workshop, project ideas developed by experts and TEPAV staff were presented to participants in and outside of Gaziantep in sub-groups with the titles ‘Sustainable and Value Added Agriculture and Food Industry’, ‘Transformation of the Manufacturing Industry’, and ‘Gaziantep, the city of qualified service and women entrepreneurship’. Participants were encouraged to express their opinions on both the findings and project ideas presented in the sub-group presentations both verbally and written. As a result, prioritized projects that will shape the future of Gaziantep were selected by votes casted by participants.

The first day of the workshop started with opening remarks. In her remarks, Country Director of GIZ Turkey Rubeena Esmail stated that they are in close cooperation with Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, chambers of commerce and industry, and community centers with the aim of creating employment. Esmail continued her words by emphasizing GIZ’s willingness to encourage public-private sector cooperation to identify common problems. She further expressed that they, as GIZ, hope that the solutions proposed at the dialogue meeting will lead to green employment opportunities in the future, contribute to the fight against global climate change and improve food security.

Taking  the floor after Esmail, the President of Gaziantep Commodity Exchange, Mehmet Akıncı emphasized that sectors of agriculture and industry are interlinked and have a cause and effect relationship. He further reietrareted that these sectors cannot be evaluated standalone, and underlined the importance of these sectors staying competitive.

In his opening remarks, President of Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce Mehmet Tuncay Yıldırım underlined that development is not solely economic in kind and expressed that Gaziantep could do more to improve at social and cultural indicators. President of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry Adnan Ünverdi, who gave an opening remark following Yıldırım, emphasized that Gaziantep is one of the only two provinces in Turkey that increased its exports during the pandemic, and ended his remarks by pointing out Gaziantep’s strength in commerce.

Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, drew attention to the fact that the United Nations is allocating great attention and resources to the study of smart, green, and healthy cities. Accordingly, Şahin She pointed out that those who identify these problems correctly and implement quick solutions will increase their competitiveness.Pointing that an holistic approach to development is vital, Şahin added that social justice and peace would be endangered if women and refugees are not included in the development agenda of Gaziantep. Stating that there are challenges and opportunities ahead, Şahin asserted that they focus on opportunities and that most problems encountered today could be solved through cooperation.

TEPAV Program Director Güven Sak took the floor to deliver his opening remarks following Mayor of Gaziantep Fatma Şahin. Sak started his remarks by stating that TEPAV have conducted a general analysis of the inputs provided during the first workshop in November and organized focus group meetings to conceptualize 8 project ideas. Sak asserted that Gaziantep’s economy has grown by opening up to the world and that residents of Gaziantep realized the advantages of becoming integrated with the world. Emphasizing the essentiality of thinking about the ways in which productivity can be improved, Sak underlined the importance of Gaziantep being integrated to global value chains as it boasts great potential and industrial infrastructure. Sak concluded her speech after stating that they are working on how to strengthen the competition and that this is what needs to be done for the first workshop, “Gaziantep Pushing Its Boundaries.”

Following the opening remarks, the workshop continued with the presentation of TEPAV Program Director Sibel Güven on the purpose and objectives as well as the flow of the second workshop. Conveying the results of the first workshop and the preparation process for the second workshop, Güven explained how the 8 project ideas would be presented and discussed in the subgroups and prioritized following the casting of votes by participants.

Following Güven’s presentation, participants were directed to sub-group sessions to discuss 8 project ideas prepared under 3 subgroups named ‘Sustainable and Value Added Agriculture and Food Industry’, ‘Transformation of the Manufacturing Industry’, and ‘Gaziantep, the city of qualified service and women entrepreneurship’. Interactive discussions took place in all three sessions carried-out simultaneously with the moderation of TEPAV staff. In subgroup sessions, TEPAV moderators shared project ideas with participants by presenting preliminary information, problem identification, purpose, target group, and good practice examples. After explaining each project idea, participants were welcomed to express their views verbally or written (Padlet). After all the project ideas were discussed, participants were asked to vote on the project idea they wanted to prioritize using Mentimeter. Accordingly, the project ideas selected to be presented to all participants on the second day of the workshop were;

1-     Sustainable and Value Added Agriculture and Food Industry

  • Collaboration in Olive Oil Quality Production/Innovative Marketing
  • Branding through Contract Farming in Pasta in Gaziantep

2-     Transformation of Manufacturing Sector

  • Gaziantep School of Production, Design and Marketing
  • Center of the Green Transformation: Gaziantep Organized Industrial Zone

3-     Social Life

  • Gaziantep Adding Value to Women’s Labor

The second day of the workshop commenced with presentations by Sibel Güven, Yakup Peker, and Asmin Kavas Bilgiç from TEPAV on the five project ideas prioritized in the subgroup sessions. Following the presentations, an interactive discussion took place where participants were welcomed to virtually express their views and suggestions on project ideas. Following this, participants were asked to cast their votes to prioritize three of the five project ideas to be developed for the third workshop .

Accordingly, the project ideas selected were;

  • “ Collaboration in Olive Oil Quality Production/Innovative Marketing” under the group of Sustainable and Value Added Agriculture and Food Industry,
  • “Center of the Green Transformation: Gaziantep Organized Industrial Zone” under the group of Transformation of the Manufacturing Sector, and
  • “Gaziantep Adding Value to Women’s Labor” under the group of Social Life were selected.

Furthermore, working groups for each  project were also determined to help develop the project ideas mentioned above. Additionally, participants were also encouraged, as in the Adana workshops, to also form working groups for project ideas that were not prioritized.

The workshop ended with the closing remarks of Güven Sak, Sibel Güven, and participants.


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