Hyatt Regency, Istanbul, 26 January 2018

“Yes, markets are soaring, and the economy isn’t bad, but citizens are divided. Governments aren’t doing much governing. Liberal democracy currently has less legitimacy than at any time since World War II. And the global order is unraveling. Something big could happen to shake the world unlike anything in a decade”.

“Economic negatives include concern about the sustainability of US stockmarkets (and therefore global markets); Chinese debt in excess of 300 per cent of GDP, with China’s banking assets some 20 times underlying equity; bond markets starting to “crack”, and bubbles everywhere, ranging from bitcoin, to fine art, to property, especially high-end, to vintage wines.”

“The world’s biggest fight over economic power centers on the development of new information technologies,” like artificial intelligence and supercomputing.”

“Energy firms are working out how to position themselves as regulatory burdens and market forces pose a range of risks and challenges.The resurgence in oil and gas production from the US, deep declines in the cost of renewables and growing electrification are changing the face of the global energy system and upending traditional ways of meeting energy demand”.

“Optimism about the future is tempered by a perception that risks will increase. Despite my bullish view of the future, I believe that the risks that we will likely face in ten years’ time will be more severe including increase in protectionism, asset price collapse, emergence of disruptive business model and technologies, talent shortages, geopolitical tensions and climate change”.

“In the coming year, Turkey is likely to face a continuation of the risks that it experienced during 2017 – domestic political troubles, foreign policy tensions and lack of a clear direction, an unsettled economy, and ongoing terrorist threats.”

Turkey’s 2018 political agenda will be shaped by three ballots due the following year: municipal elections in March 2019, and the parliamentary and presidential elections in November 2019. Following these votes, the current parliamentary system will be replaced by an executive presidential system of government that will significantly increase the presidential powers. An early election, despite the statements to the contrary, could make 2018 an entirely different and challenging year”. 

Guest Speaker: Mehmet Öğütçü

An internationally recognized authority on geopolitics, energy and investment, Mehmet has built significant knowledge, experience and network with particular geographic focus on Europe, Turkey, Central Asia, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and China. Based in London, Paris, and Istanbul, his professional career over the past 35 years has included high-level government, business, and public diplomacy engagements.

Currently, Mehmet chairs Global Resources Partnership, a UK-based strategic advisory group andserves as independent Non-Executive Director of Genel Energy plc and Sisecam Group Boards. He also sits onChina’s “Belt and Road Initiative” Advisory Board< Beijing, andworks as Special Envoy of Brussels-based Energy Charter. He founded and manages The Bosphorus Energy Club, a discreet but powerful summit of the top decision-makers in finance, energy and politics across the world, 2011-present.

Previously, he served as the chairman of International Advisory Board for Invensys plc, a FTSE 100 technology company, and worked as an independent board member of Yasar Holding Group in Izmir (a food and beverage conglomerate) for three years and senior advisor to the Saudi Crown Investment Holding in Riyadh.

As a former diplomat (1986-1994), heserved in Ankara, Beijing, Brusselsand Paris, and worked as an advisor to the late Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Özal. After a stint in the Turkish Delegation to the OECD, he joined the International Energy Agency in Paris as a senior staffer, established its first China, Russia and India programmes of co-operation and collaboration on energy security, efficiency, technology deployment and finance, climate change and natural gas market development,1994-2000.

As OECD’s head of investment programmes,he established the MENA Investment and Governance Programme, the South East Europe’s Investment Compact, raised funds to implement these programmes, and helped achieve several trackable policy reforms across the Middle East and Gulf countries, Emerging Asia, Africa, and Central Asia, 2000-2005.

Until 2011, Mehmet was Director for British Gas (BG) Group in London, one of the world’s largest natural gas and petroleum multinationals, managing high-level government engagements in support of the company’s global assets and new business development in 28 countries.

Mehmet is a graduate of Turkey’s “Mulkiye”, London School of Economics (MSc) and College d’Europe (MA), Bruges. As an honorary fellow, he teaches occasionally at London School of Economics’ Enterprise Executive Programme, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Dundee University, and University of Reading since 2005.

He is a regular contributor to Dünya, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNNTurk, Hürriyet Daily News, World Journal of Trade and Investment, Euroactiv, Moscow Times, Capital, Bloomberg and OECD Observer. He appears regularly on France-24, Israel’s i24NEWS, BBC, NTV, CNNTurk, Russian Television, Romania’s Diplomatic Passport and BloombergHT.

His recent book, a best-seller from Dogan Publishing, features “The New Great Game: Where we stand and what awaits us?”, April 2017.

Some of his other publications include, inter alia: New Horizons for Foreign Direct Investment (OECD, 2001), Need for a Longer-Term Western Strategy for Eurasian Energy (Kluwer Law International, 1996), Islam and the West: Can Turkey bridge the gap? (Futures, Cambridge, 1995), Rising Asia: What It Means for Us? (Imge, 1998), A New Economic Diplomacy Strategy (TUSIAD, 1998), China’s Quest For Energy Security Worldwide (International Energy Agency, 2000), Policy Reforms for Improved Investment Climate in Ukraine, with Anna Stepanenko- Malan (OECD, 2002), Turkey’s 2023 roadmap (Etkilesim, 2005), The Geopolitical Impact of Unconventional Hydrocarbons (Gulf Strategic Research Center, 2010), Financing China’s Green Energy Revolution: Opportunities and Risks (Windsor Energy Group, 2017), Killing the Perennial Lies in Turco-EU Relations (EU Observer, July 2017), Is a Leapfrogging possible in the Turco-Chinese relations? (Capital, January 2018).