Organized for the 92nd time by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality’s fair organization İZFAŞ, hosted by the Metropolitan Municipality and under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce, the fair started with a cortege march.
The people of Izmir gathered in Cumhuriyet Square at 18.30 for the march. The cortege, where the enthusiasm of the fair met with the people of Izmir, was the scene of colorful shows.
Wooden-legged performance artists and dancers added color to the march, which was held with the participation of Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer. The cortege march ended at the Kulturpark Lausanne Gate and the opening ceremony of the IEF was held after the march.
Özgür Volkan Ağar, Deputy Minister of Trade, pointed out that domestic and foreign production and trade have slowed down due to the epidemic, the Russia-Ukraine War, the earthquake disaster of February 6 and finally the shrinking demand of the European Union, the main export market.
Ağar stated that despite all these adverse conditions, Turkey managed to grow by 4 percent in the first quarter of 2023 and by 3.8 percent in the second quarter, and to maintain an uninterrupted growth performance for 12 quarters.
“Export will be at the heart of economic policies in the next five years”
“Hopefully, we aim to reach an export of 265 billion dollars by the end of this year,” said Ağar, adding:
“As an export base, İzmir has played an important role in the development and opening up of Turkey since its foundation. Exports from İzmir, which is of great importance in terms of our country’s exports, reached 17 billion dollars in 2022. In the next five years, exports will again be at the heart of economic policies. “While a healthy and balanced economic model is adopted at home, the engine of growth will still be exports. We are aware that these export successes of our country are not only a numerical success, but also the result of a qualitative transformation that our exporters have been through, focusing on increasing added value and advanced technology over the years.”
İzmir Governor Süleyman Elban reminded that this fair maintained its continuity even during the Second World War and said:
“We used to follow the Izmir Fair in the newspapers for days in our childhood. We used to follow the works, the artists, the entertainments and events here with great admiration and enthusiasm. We are both a city that started fairs in our country and a city that sets an example for many countries in our region. I think it is the responsibility and obligation of the Izmir International Fair to bring and introduce new things to the understanding of fair organization, because being a pioneer requires such a responsibility, as having assumed the trust of Atatürk, because this city has a history and tradition of introducing foreign trade to Anatolia. Therefore, it should continue with the duty and responsibility of bringing together the people of this country with the outside world, in fairs and other economic fields, and integrating them in different fields.”
Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that the fair is a world square where people of all colors and countries meet, and that it is also a mirror to the world from İzmir.
Stating that they dedicate the 92nd Izmir International Fair to the youth in order to increase hope, Soyer said, “Young people, we cannot stomach the fact that even a single one of you leaves this country. The bright young people of this country, their proud, hardworking spirits. They are willing to let you go anywhere. We are not. Please accept the dedication of the 92nd Izmir International Fair to you as a symbol of this effort.” he said.
Stating that they opened the fair with the deep pain left by the earthquake, Soyer said, “I am aware that this pain will never go away, even if months pass, but years pass. It is once again welcome to Şanlıurfa, İzmir, this year’s honored guest of our fair, which suffered great losses first with the earthquake and then with the floods. I say you came, you gave me the honor.” used the phrase.
The fair will also host the International Textile Biennial for the first time in Turkey. The works in the Biennial, where 57 participants from 17 countries took part, will meet art lovers at the Atlas Pavilion. There will be 26 concerts, theater and film screenings, and sports events for 10 days.