THERE ARE TWO WAYS IN THE UNIVERSE: VIA LACTEA IN THE SKY AND SILK ROAD ON THE EARTH*
*Ancient Asian saying
Global economy shows noticeable shift of activity from Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean, especially following current financial crisis in US and Old Europe. The countries situated along historical Silk road are more and more active offering global market their goods, technologies, knowledge and services.
The most successful one in this matter is Turkey. It was Turkey to initiate and arrange First business summit "Silk road" where representatives of 19 countries met in Trabzon October 16-19. The number of participants was amazing – 230 foreign professionals and over 500 Turkish ones. These, correspondingly, were businessmen and representatives of authorities of the level of Economy and Trade Ministers and their Deputies, Presidents of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce and stock exchanges, Ambassadors and members of foreign missions, scientific workers and managers, as well as numerous mass media representatives. Ukrainian delegation was one of the most wide and complete ones. The visit was arranged by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Turkish Republic and Chamber of Commerce and Industry, East Black Sea Union of Exporters, local authorities and business circles.
The aim of the meeting was to prove to all the world that these countries are able for mutual effective work, and based on cooperation to provide the market with high quality goods and services, distribute them from East to West and vice versa.
Let us remind that historically Silk road is the system of caravan ways existed from II century B.C. up to XV century and united the countries of Eurasia – from Western Europe to China. In pre-capitalist epoch it was the shortest way – over 7 thousand km – which played the role of connection link between the countries of various civilizations and social-economic systems.
It was not by chance to choose Trabzon city as a place for the meeting, as Great Silk road passed through it in ancient time. To revive and strengthen historical traditions the action was held in just built business complex. During the opening and plenary meetings of business forum holding presidium was not elected to provide equal possibility to every participant of the meeting to say greetings and make brief presentation.
All the speakers were unanimous to mention that current economy globalization has both positive and negative sides. Global economy crisis can be withstand through "sol road" countries cooperation renewal, which will have not only positive economical but also positive political consequences. A bit ambitious were summary words of Mr. Kurshad Tuzmen's, Foreign Trade of Turkey Minister, speech stating that the aim of his country is to demonstrate all the world that surrounding countries can effectively jointly work, establishing new center of economic gravity and supply the goods and services of Pacific ocean each other and to the other European countries. First of all it means transportation and consulting services, power resources, construction, agriculture and industry complex development able to generate consistent money flow independent of financial fluctuations. We are pleased to note that Ukraine is seen as significant partner in these matters. Such a thought Mr. Tuzmen proved at press-conference, held following opening exhibition of Turkish agricultural goods named "A week of Black sea agriculture" and a number of round tables. Minister emphasized that he is optimistic towards future relationship with Ukraine and mentioned the following figures. In 2003 Turkish export to Ukraine equaled $445 mln., import – $2,3 billion, general turnover equaled $2,7 billion. Last year indices increased up to $1,5 billion in export and $4,5 billion in import, meaning in general up to over $5,9 billion. For 8 months of the current year these indices came to $1, 5 billion, $4,7 billion and $6,2 billion accordingly. "And according to our forecast up to the end of the year general turnover of the goods and services between our countries should exceed $7,5 billion", speaker summarized.
During three days forum worked in open of mass media and closed for mass media modes. Opened was for sections "Investment and Finances". "Trade, Construction and Services". Round tables of Heads and representatives of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of participating countries with the management of the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Turkey were closed ones. At that time mass media representatives met with local journalists, attended corresponding exhibitions, sea port in Trabzon and powerful processing plants of the region.
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Turkish food industry products exhibition was true civilized artifact of eastern bazar. Everything could be found there: enormous number of traditional and unique eastern sweeties – dried, baked, glazed, plenty of fruits and vegetables both fresh and canned; olives for any taste as well as olive oil, which was extracted by various methods in front of attendees, Milk and dairy, especially cheese is national food, as well as fish and sea food. And also – can you imagine party without Turkish tea and hospitable smile of the host?
"Gulbudak" company from Sparta is famous all over Turkey suppliers of apples and fruit trees transplants. They are stable in internal market, selling over 12 thousand tons of apples of 27 grades per year. About 6 tons of them is own products. Metro, Micros, Karfur trade networks has about 25% of their products. In the next 5 years this company plans to develop processing and try themselves as exporters at overseas markets.
Sweet marshmallow sticks with nuts in Gumushani town was cooked by traditional technology from ancient times. The base of marshmallow sticks is juice of boiled white mulberry adding flour and honey. "Kral" company founded in 1974 as family business of 4 brothers and 3 sisters started to produce this marshmallow sticks industrial way utilizing up-to-date technologies. In such a way this product became famous not only in Turkey, but out of its boarders. The most traditional is marshmallow sticks with hazelnuts, which is national proud of Turkey. It is also produced with pine nuts, and it can be also done with walnuts, which, by the way, are bought from Ukraine. Such eastern sweeties are natural due to original components and production technologies, so extremely health not only to provide general support to the human body, but for cardio-vascular diseases prophylaxis.
Traditional Turkish coffee now will have one more, new image due to "Q-cup" company (from quick cup). About a year ago it invented and patented the new way for quick make of popular drink for fast food industry: instant coffee is on the bottom of plastic cup and fixed there with aluminum foil. Consumer needs to remove foil and pour hot water and coffee is ready. This is brand new high technology certified production. The cup is manufactured just prior to packing and is sterile; automatic machine packs 10 cups to each leak proof package. Right now the range Up to now the assortment includes 5 grades of such a drink, the main of which is black coffee with cream and sugar. Coffee is bought from Brazil, cream – from Germany. Now this product is exported to 5 neighbor countries, and starting from new year they signed contracts with 26 countries all over the world. Sure, the demand of high quality raw material will grow together with production growth. Thus the company is interested in new and reliable partners to supply sugar and dried milk.
Ancient Trabzon has over 2 thousand years history. It was one of the five biggest cities in Osman Empire through which Silk road went, and up to now it remains one of the leading centers of cultural and social-economy life of Turkey. They say here that modern Silk Road unites Europe and Asia and it goes through sea port of Trabzon also.
Average port services about 2 thousands vessels, handling over 3,8 mln tons of cargo. Main export products to European countries are vegetables, fruits, nuts, to China – marble, cement, metal (chromium). The base of import is coal from Russia and Ukraine and well as crops: wheat, barley, rye and corn. Attached to port elevator available makes it possible to store grain for its further transportation to southern countries by trucks.
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Collecting and processing nuts is quite a profitable business which like tourism and light industry is the backbone of the Turkish economy. Mountains of the country are simply sinking in the coverts of hazel-nut (nut-tree). General land area under hazel-nut exceeds 700 thousand hectares. The country is the main world exporter of these nuts and every year depending on the yield it supplies to the external markets 65 – 75% of processed product. The main consumers are the countries of Europe, America, Australia, Japan, and Russia. The Ukrainian market is also dominated by the Turkish hazel-nut.
There are no commercial areas with hazel-nut bushes; they are grown and collected manually by more than 5 mln farmers and private growers who united into cooperatives. One bush may give 10-20 kg of product. In such a way from three hectares of hazel-nut garden – and this is an average area of the "commercial" farm – one can collect about 5 tones of product. With purchasing price of $1 per kilo a grower turns his honest $5 thousand each August.
The Turks call hazel-nut to be a gift of the God, as it is a natural vitamins concentrator doubling the nourishment value of bread. It excretes the organism and is particularly helpful for cardiovascular and hepatic diseases treatment and prophylaxes.
We visited one of three factories processing hazel-nuts – "Arslanturk". This is a high-technology modern enterprise, its produce certified by ISO 9002 and =LTTі. Every year it produces more than 20 thousand tons of dried and powdered nuts, 12 thousand tons of which are exported to 45 countries in the world. This company is sixth in Turkey by hazel-nut volume of export.
Its owner and General Director is Sabahtin Arslanturk, the third generation of Arslanturk family engaged in "hazel-nut" business. He is the head of Trabzone Trade Exchange and is in charge of the National Association of Hazel-nut Producers. His company supplies hazel-nuts to Ukraine as well, that is why he is quite familiar with our country and invites us to closer cooperation.
Turkish tea by its taste and quality resembles a well known to any soviet man Georgian tea. It is not brewed but boiled and served in glass 100 grams cups.
From one and the same fresh-cut tea leaf depending on the necessity one can get different kinds of ready-made tea on a tea factory – black, green, red and yellow; loose, pressed or instant. All depends on processing and technological process which usually comes to withering, curling, fermenting, drying and sorting (by fractions).
On "Ozcay" factory we didn't see any curled tea, but saw the whole structure of organic tea production – the pride of the company for which quality it was rewarded on the international level in Italy in 2004.
The enterprise was founded and equipped in 1987. Since then it has been working practically non-stop round-the-clock. During the working hours 150 tons of tea leaves are processed and 30 tons of ready-made tea of different kinds are produced. 10 kg of fresh leaf gives 2 kg of tea which humidity does not exceed 4%. Tea production process – from processing to packing – lasts for 6-8 hours.
A company shop works on the territory of the factory as well as a comfortable cafe where one may taste all kinds of tea produced here. So we couldn't but use this possibility.