TUSIAD and TURKONFED represent over 80 percent of Turkey’s private capital, Fortune 500 of Turkey and over 40,000 local business organizations in total. The engagement of those two organizations and their member local organizations are highly critical in achieving the local businesses in and outside of Turkey in future.
TUSIAD, has a significant representative capacity of the economic activity in Turkey and abroad in many spheres such as production, value added, formal employment and foreign trade. TUSIAD’s activities are aimed at creating a social order based on the competitive market economy, sustainable development, and participatory democracy. Located in Istanbul, TUSIAD has representative offices in Ankara, Washington, Brussels, Berlin, London, Paris and Beijing. TUSIAD has represented Turkish business community on global platforms with more than 200 interaction with B20, Businesseurope, and OECD-BIAC in the last 5 years.
Likewise, TURKONFED, through its 28 federations and 210 associations, has over 40.000 companies represented, making them the largest voluntary SME organization in Turkey. TURKONFED carries out its activities in close cooperation with its member federations, as well as with member Turkish business organizations outside Turkey through the TURKONFED International Platform. TURKONFED has a representative office in Brussels and is a member of the Crafts and SMEs in Europe (SMEUnited).
Top level engagement and representative capacity of champion leaders will be ensured to increase the awareness and sense of ownership. The initiative, as already approved by the boards of TUSIAD and TURKONFED, has already identified key prominent business leaders from different sectors and geographical representation, to act as the business champions of SDGs with an aim to up bring the notion of the partnership model to all segments of the society widely. A prominent business person with representative capacity nationally and internationally will be appointed as the President of the B4SDG Platform.
UNDP will also closely work with the Government of Turkey and engage in a partnership arrangement with respective institution, Strategy and Budget Office of Turkish Presidency, which is responsible for the coordination of SDGs on behalf of the Turkish Government. The work of Business for SDGs Platform will be in alignment with the SDGs Nationalization process, and smooth cooperation arrangements will be ensured in order to achieve the objectives of the initiative. It is expected that the work of the Platform will create policy impact at national level through close coordination and cooperation with national authorities working in respective areas.
As explained above, implementation of SDGs will be a shared responsibility by all stakeholders and ultimately the State. In this respect, the integration of SDGs at the corporate side is the utmost importance of the Business for SDGs Platform, which can only be achieved under a coordinated structure and therefore, the Platform will effectively be linked, as a private sector representative structure, to the coordination efforts of the Government of Turkey and contribute to national monitoring and reporting on SDGs.
UNDP CO will have a coordinated and collaborative focus with UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD) and UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub (IRH) to partnerships with the Turkish private sector, including for the efforts to benefit multiple countries in the region.
The initial process of developing the platform model will be completed by the first quarter of 2019. The in-house capacity of the Platform will be established by then through the Project at hand, also with the appointments of experts from TUSIAD and TURKONFED, who will develop a business plan with the sustainability and potential risks involved through a consultative approach. The innovative platform-based partnership model is already have been tested in banking sector on financial literacy with support of UNDP, which will continue being the flagship program to enable similar collective action programs in different sectors. The risks of the model have been also tested in financial literacy Programme and will be utilized in operationalization of the work of the Platform. The financial literacy initiative is in the process of developing a toolkit on the partnership model to share with global audience, and to be utilized by B4SDG from its early stages.
A collaboration with the Connecting Business initiative (CBi), that TURKONFED currently hosts its operations in Turkey together with UNDP CO, will help make the analyze of the disruption to value-chains from natural and complex emergencies and develop joint solutions with the private sector. The learnings will benefit other CBi networks globally by capturing the specifics of conditions, particularly in terms of private sector’s response to complex emergencies, including refugee crises.
Close consultation with the Global Compact Network in Turkey (Secretariat hosted by TUSIAD) will also be ensured to provide the network members with the expertise support on SDGs mainstreaming into their corporate policies and facilitate dialogues for increased engagement in SDG focused partnerships.