(Istanbul, 24 October 2013) – Over 250 entrepreneurs, investors, CEOs, policymakers, civil society representatives and sustainable development experts from more than 70 countries gathered in Istanbul for the 16th International Business Forum (IBF): Green and Inclusive Business – Exploring and Developing Markets for Sustainable Growth.
This year’s IBF – organized by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and in partnership with the UN Global Compact, The Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development, and the International Chamber of Commerce – focused on integrating environmental and social goals into a sustainable business model.
The Forum included more than 30 workshops and networking opportunities on topics related to access to finance, capacity building, market linkages and policies to promote green and inclusive business. In addition, the recipients of the CHANGING Markets Award were announced. More than 130 green and inclusive businesses from around the world applied for the award, of which ten were invited to IBF to pitch their business cases. From those, three businesses were selected, with one being invited to participate in the “Breakthrough Innovation Lab” in Potsdam, Germany in November.
In his opening remarks, Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, State Secretary of BMZ, spoke to the importance of this year’s topic, stating that “inclusive businesses are not some weak idea,” insisting that they are “serious and successful.” Dr. Cevdet Yılmaz, Minister of Development of Turkey, welcomed the participants and emphasized that sustainability is a core component of business. Dr. Yilmaz noted that the Turkish Ministry of Development’s 2014–2018 Development Programme places sustainability of development at its core.
On day two of the Forum, the Global Compact co-hosted a workshop session on “The Role of Business-Driven Networks in Promoting Green and Inclusive Business through Collective Action and Public Private Dialogue” with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Local Networks from Bulgaria, China, India, Serbia and Turkey shared their ideas and experiences during these sessions, with network representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq and Uganda also in attendance.
Adviser to the Executive Director
UN Global Compact