-EUROCHAMBRES Deputy President
-Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), Vice President
– Board Member of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu is the President of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), which is the largest non-profit business organization in Turkey, covering 365 Chambers and Commodity Exchanges.
TOBB represents the country’s 1.4 million companies and acts as the most effective professional organization with a network of members reaching into all scale of businesses from different sectors, great to small in all regions in Turkey.
Married and father of three, M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu was born on November 22nd 1955 in Ankara, but originally from Kayseri. After finishing high school at Ankara TED College, he earned his B.A. degree in Economics and Management from Gazi University in Ankara.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu started his professional life in the private sector. In which he is the Chairman of Eskihisar Group of Companies that operate in the fields of construction, construction materials, export and import, agriculture, investments, land development, food industry and automotive sector. Besides his professional career as a prominent businessman, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected as a Councilman at Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) in 1992 and still continues his post.
After a one-year vice presidency period at TOBB, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected as the President of the Union on June 26th 2001 and was re-elected in May 2002 until 2005. Having demonstrated an outstanding performance in his post as the leader of the Turkish Private Sector, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu was elected for the second time in May 2005 and for the third time in May 2009.
He pioneered the establishment of the largest Women Entrepreneurship Council and the Youth Entrepreneurship Council in Turkey.
Since August 2001, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has been the President of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), which aims to contribute to the efforts for improving Turkey’s external economic relations through Business Councils world-wide. DEIK assists the business community in the development of foreign economic and commercial activities for the benefit of the country and in the best evaluation of business opportunities through its 106 Bilateral, 2 Sectoral and World Turkish Business Councils (DTIK) that is established under the aegis of DEIK.
Besides, he is also the President of the World Turkish Business Council (DTIK), which aims to create a strong consensus among the Turkish businessmen abroad and develop their commercial relations.
Having the inspiration to improve the quality of labour force of business communities and also bring light to education by combining academic and private sector cooperation, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu pioneered the establishment of the “TOBB University of Economics and Technology” (TOBB-ETU) in Ankara, in July 2003. The university focuses on science and technology, administrative and social sciences to train business leaders for the 21st century, providing innovative teaching and research programs to educate creative people who can acquire, synthesize and apply interdisciplinary scientific knowledge with entrepreneurial skills. TOBB ETU has been running a 1-year long cooperative education system since its establishment, the first and unique cooperative education initiative in Turkey. Today, TOBB – ETU ranks as the “most preferred university” among the universities in Turkey and also TOBB ETU Hospital, one of the accredited medical institution with JCI Quality Certificate, was established in 2010.
With an insight to respond to a much-felt necessity for a policy making institution, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu pioneered the establishment of a think-tank. He is currently the President of TEPAV – The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, which is engaged in research on economics, governance studies, strategic and foreign policy studies.
For the determination of the priorities in economic issues with participatory approach and through taking the views of Turkish businessmen, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu took the initiative to establish The Evaluation Board for Economic Issues (ESDK), which comprises Ministries, TOBB and representatives from related private sector organizations. ESDK aims to make significant contribution to the dynamism of the private sector and improve the adaptability of the Turkish economy to internal and external markets, in the course of evaluating issues and burdens on the Turkish business community.
Representing the Turkish private sector, M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu is also a Member of the Economic and Social Council of Turkey chaired by the Prime Minister. The Economic and Social Council is a social dialogue platform which covers various socio-economic groups and serves as an important cooperation and communication mechanism between these groups and the government.
He is a High Advisory Board Member in the UNICEF National Committee of Turkey.
With its flashing profile and contemporary spirit, TOBB plays an active role in international relations and global business arena. With this sense, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu carries a wide range of responsibilities in the integration of the Turkish business world with the global market and increasing competitiveness.
During his Presidency, TOBB became the most active and influential umbrella organization of the Turkish business community, not only in the domestic arena but also in the international sphere.
He is the Deputy President of EUROCHAMBRES since 2009, which has 45 member countries, working with 2000 local and regional chambers, 19 million enterprises, which provide employment for 200 million people.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğluis the Vice President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), since 2009. It was established in October 1977, in Karachi. ICCI is an affiliated organ of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and represents the private sector of 57 member countries.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has also been the Chairman of ICC-Turkey (International Chamber of Commerce), since September 2001 and he became the ICC G-20 Advisory Group Member
in June 2011. Besides, he is the Member of the General Council of World Chambers Federation (WCF) since January 2011.
M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, is also the Turkish side Chairman of the “Partners for a New Beginning” (PNB) Local Chapter Turkey (2011-2016), which was established to contribute the development of Turkey-US economic relations through public private partnerships. Meanwhile the US side is chaired by Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State.
Recognizing the importance of the U.S. – Turkey bilateral relationship, TOBB and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) formed the CSIS – TOBB, United States – Turkish Contact Group (CUTCG) in Washington D.C in June 2003. Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Co-Chairman of this Contact Group.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Chairman of The Ankara Forum, a permanent dialogue mechanism for a trilateral economic cooperation among Palestine, Israel and Turkey, initiated by TOBB. The first meeting of the Ankara Forum was held in Ankara on 27th April 2005, following 7 more meetings. The most concrete project within the Forum in the meantime is the establishment of the Industrial Peace Project in Palestine.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu is the Chairman of The Istanbul Forum, another unique platform to instigate and build up economic cooperation between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. The first meeting of the Forum took place in Istanbul on 26th October 2007 and the the sixth meeting on 1st November 2011.
Due to his profound approach and sensitivity towards Turkey’s economic and social life, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, has undertook various responsibilities in many national and international non-governmental organizations. Having a strong international mission, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, works closely with his counterparts around the world and international business organizations.
His positions in the boards of regional and international organizations:
Deputy President of Eurochambres: (2009 – …)
Vice-President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA): (2009 – 2013)
Chairman of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)-Turkey
Member of Executive Board of ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
Co-President Turkey Africa Chamber (TAC), (2008 – …)
Chairman of the ICC-Turkey (International Chamber of Commerce, National Committee), (2001- …)
Member of the ICC G-20 Advisory Group: (2011 – …)
Member of the General Council of World Chambers Federation (WCF): (2011 – …)
Member of the Executive Committee (EXCOM) of CACCI – Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (2010 – 2011)
Board of Trustees Member of Yunus Emre Foundation, (2008 – …)
Member of the Executive Board of the Association of the Black Sea Zone Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (2001 – …)
Member of the Executive Committee of D-8 Federation of Chambers of Commerce, (2001 – …)
Former President of the Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC): (2007-2008)
Former President of the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industry: (2007-2010)
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu has received numerous awards and honors from many countries and reputable organizations:
the Gold Medal of Merit by the Austrian Republic
the ‘Commendatore’ from the Italian Republic
the ‘Medal of Inspiration’ from Mongolia
‘Honorary Doctorate’ by the Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey
‘Honorary Doctorate’ by Izmir University of Economics
‘Medal of Honor’ from the Assembly of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry
‘Honorary Membership” Award from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.
Medal of Honor by Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Social Contribution Certificate by Suleyman Demirel University
Special Science Award from the Popular Scientific Journal
“Businessman of the Year” Award from the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“Social Scientist of the Year” Award from the Social Sciences High School Science & Technology Club
International Road Transport Union (IRU) Honorary Award
Gratitude Award by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Certificate of Honorary Membership by the Turkish – American Businessmen Association
Award of the Year by “Economist” Magazine “Non-Governmental Organization Leader of the Year”
Ukrainian CCI Medal of Honor
Kazakhstan Medal for Development of Friendship and Cooperation