WORKING GROUP AGAINST MAI (Turkey)
Multilateral Agreement on Investments
(Information Meeting - April, 26, 1998 - Ýstanbul)
Social struggles are continues efforts which are endless and unlimited. One of the most important factor for this continuity is uninterrupted view & information exchange.
The success of struggle mostly depends on the determination of problems which occurs far from us before they happen and to try to defeat them with a scientist’ sensitivity.
MAI, Multilateral Agreement on Investment turned our world to be thunderstruck? This agreement clearly shows that globalization which ignores societies is a tremendous cruel attack. The executive committee of our Union believes the importance of scientific information and solidarity to achieve it’s target. Therefore, our Union has got into motion to establish social solidarity through giving information to several groups as well as our members by organizing this panel.
The MAI has been in negotiations in secret sessions since May 1995 between 29 OECD Governments. The final agreement was scheduled for completion in 1997 but the informations oozed from Paris and hundreds of NGOs in the world mobilized to stop this agreement which aims to move us further towards what will be little less than total destruction on any meaningful democracy.
By this agreement, it’s aimed to eradicate national states, to eliminate a number of state institutions like Legislation, Judgment and Council of State and to be ignored whole rules and regulations for the profit of TNCs.
In our MAI Panel which was held on 26th April 1998 in Istanbul, academicians, journalist & author and researchers participated to inform us about MAI. Prof. Dr. Ýzzettin Önder from Ýstanbul University, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Tonak from Middle East Technical University, Prof. Dr. Ýlhan Tanýllý and Ýsmail Duman from Istanbul Technical University, Author & Journalist Þükran Soner and Researchers Gökhan Candoðan and Gaye Yýlmaz explained economic, social, politic, environmental and legal dimensions of MAI.
Another interesting aspect of our meeting is participant mosaic. More than 300 participants joined in meeting and they were belong to different social sections like occupation chambers, environment associations, trade unions, media, politic parties and etc. This time, they made a mistake. Till now they had targeted only labor or environment or any other aspect depending on their investment type and may be therefore solidarity inter-societies were damaging. But, in this case they made a big mistake for themselves and attacked on whole social groups, natural resources, social-legal and humanistic values in same time by introducing MAI.
By this book, it’s aimed to disseminate the scientific information on multilateral agreements and their influences on societies by reaching people who could not participate in our panel but are aware of the dangerous.
In OECD Ministerial Meeting in 28th April (only 2 days later from our panel), it’s decided to deepen the negotiations on MAI and to inform societies till the dead line in October.
In our opinion it will be very dangerous to be in a lassitude till October 1998, it is therefore necessary to call groups concerned to struggle against MAI by coming together.
We strongly hope that this book will contribute the exist efforts on this way.
UNITED METAL WORKERS’ UNION
Muzaffer ÞAHÝN, General Secretary of United Metal Worker’ Union
We’ve, as United Metal Worker’s Union always repeated our commitment to get down to the problems on not only worker class and worker’s life, also other problems related to socio-economic, cultural, environmental areas and we promised to produce politic solutions for these. We emphasized the importance of policies based on science and research.
As you are aware, the government is just about to sign a multilateral agreement which is not known by Turkish public opinion yet.
Therefore, our Union organized this meeting to inform people, NGOs, journalists as well as our members.
Now, I would like to thank whole friends who contributed to arrange this meeting and to invite our President Mr. Kamil Kinkýr to make his opening speech
Kamil KÝNKIR,The President of United Metal Workers’ Union
Welcome dear lecturers and guests,
Firstly, I want to thank of behalf of our Executive Committee to dear academicians, reporters and researchers who accepted to inform us by coming here today.
The first sensations on MAI affected us deeply and showed that we have to involve in this matter much more, it’s because the agreement would be signed in OECD and Turkey is also an OECD member. We comprehended to convey the informations on MAI to people as a social task by considering the role of Trade Unions on to be pioneer for people and to ensure that all problems are discussed with an objective approach.
We believe that trade unions’ responsibilities are not restricted with only workers’ issues. Moreover, every social problem required solidarity between different social groups. Thus, today you constituted a mosaic here by participating from different NGOs. I’m sure that this social cooperation and solidarity will bring us closer to each of us much more that before.
May be, the sole advantage of globalisation will be strengthen cooperation and solidarity between exploited, poor, indigenous people. Also other NGOs in international platform are trying to stop signing of MAI by using same way: international solidarity. Certainly, the aim of all this efforts is to give information and to illuminate the conscious. We will reach the real power on the day we achieved this target.
Particularly for last 20 years, they made us more deaf, more blind and more dumb by introducing an individualist philosophy based on the view which aims to eradicate social approach, collectivity and solidarity. Their target was to make people insensitive for others’ problems. And they took a step which was in a contradiction with this target, they prepared MAI trap. In this case, their target group is whole world. The process will show that it’s unavoidable to come together to establish cooperation and to involve actively in decision makers.
In fact, we don’t want to be in a prejudice against MAI and we shouldn’t be. Our intention is to learn it’s details, to analyze it in the profit of worker class and to evaluate this agreement by knowing it’s advantageous and disadvantageous for whole humanity.
From this starting point and having an objective approach, we kindly requested from the lecturers to inform us.
We hope you will contribute this efforts by asking questions. Further more, I hope we can lay the foundation for a joint action and cooperation plan against MAI in the line of the results of our meeting.
I wish a fruitful meeting for all of us.
Prof. Dr. Ýzzettin ÖNDER
Dear guests, I’m greeting all of you with my best wishes. I appreciated United Metal Workers’ Union to organize this meeting because MAI is the most important indicator which clearly shows the reflection of globalized capital to state and law systems. I will try to explain and comment MAI in a general frame.
Actually, MAI is not a new development. May be we’re late to hear it but it’s heard very new even in west world. In fact, they were planning to sign MAI in 1997. It was considered to form in WTO (World Trade Organization) beforehand but in favor of ABD it was passed into OECD and the negotiations have been started in 1995 between 29 OECD Governments in a very secret manner. In 1997, some informations on MAI disseminated and time period which was determined for agreement had to extend due to increased oppositions in the world.
According to informations on Web pages, there are still hard disputes between even industrialized countries. These are rather ordinary conflicts, because you remember some big disputes had also happened when the talks were going on related to establish WTO, GATT and etc., particularly on agricultural issues. Despite of all clamours for globalizm, free trade, and free production even the most strongest countries including ABD had got agitated to protect their economic systems. And today strong European countries are also in a hurry to defend their states and their special areas. This situation clearly shows that, in one hand they are trying to convince under developed and developing countries like us that national states has come to an end, in the other hand they do their best to protect their nations. They do that by using very strong elements, like customs, de facto limitations and international, multinational agreements like MAI.
Before talking about MAI. I want to touch on the second face of this agreement. Actually, I am happy to meet MAI. But why I’m happy, I’ll explain. While system are operating with it’s own dynamics it’s not possible to develop a contrary mechanism in it, or to protect ourselves against it or to correct it. We have to accept it. We have to accept this reality any more. And MAI is clearly teaching us this rule. We can not struggle against system while we’re living together with it. We are usually carried away by a trick as if it’s possible to defend our selves when a dominant power developed a policy for itself in capitalist system or in any else system. In general, dominant powers do not object to this mistake due to two reasons: 1) They have confidence in their power and 2) If they can regulate some things in this context they can close their eyes to mistakes even they pay a concession price for these. This application ensures both to go forward hand in hand by being reconciled mutually and to make corrections aims to regulate system where required, thus to soften the system. In this process, while opposition side is supposing that they fulfill their duty and get their due, attack side is proceeding on it’s own rails.
However, when the system is taken short, multinational capital puts forward it’s whole demands and desires as naked, without gloves and masks. On the contrary of general thought, MAI does not eradicate the national states, but just on the contrary, it redefines the duties of national states as to defend the profits of multinational capital by protecting the states. In this frame, MAI urges the state mechanisms which must protect people’s profits to protect multinationals’ profits. To sum up MAI is the juridical cover of entire this new structure.
Is it possible to not enter into this agreement? I’m not sure how much it is possible to stay outside of it, for a state which like satellite. Because, in my opinion, the states which prefers to stay outside this system will be isolated enormously. These countries will be exposed technologie and capital isolation. Whereas, the countries like Turkey need a huge capital accumulation to catch up with the technologie in developed countries.
Now, I would like to tell a historical event which named as “Black ships event” in history and happened in 1860s. In this date , a few American war ships come along side to Tokyo Harbor. Mr. Perry the commander of ships lets the Japanese authorities know that they need an oil completion and if the harbour is not opened they will ensure this by bombing the harbour. Naturally none of governers humiliate to such an order and Japaneese did also not humiliate and the harbour was opened by cannon fire. In today’s world, the are of cannon was closed, because different tools are in circuit.
MAI is an international constitution which aims to protect the multinational companies. It means, every nations who signed this agreement has to comply with it’s sipulations. Consequently, national laws has to comply with MAI. Although, the text of agreement is always changing but I want to touch some agreed provisions in generally. We can summarise the general context under four aspects as follows:
In legislative context, required legislative frame is being determined for TNCs to defend their profits everywhere they gone and to operate there freely. Under politic rights, TNCs can also bring their staffs to host country as key personnel by having a privilege and without any restriction. These companies will have the same rights with domestic companies. So, what does “key personnel” mean? Does such an investment bring new technologie to countries? In technical meaning, our response should be “yes”. But when we consider the economical approach of this companies by examining MAI provisions we can see that their intention is not to transfer technologie. If it was, they would not demand to bring their key personnel. Of course they can make investments with intensive technologie. But in MAI context neither they will bring technologie nor they contribute the export volume of host country. They only will use the lands in host country and benefit from some financial and economic advantages.
In the frame of politic rights, the “investment” word in agreement means not only physical investments it includes also whole non-physical rights like copyrights on the jobs related arts and financial instruments and etc.
Two of the most important provisions in MAI are “National treatment” and “Most favoured nations” principles. Thus, transnational companies guarantee itself against both domestic companies in host country and other TNCs’ advantageous. According to the principle on “national treatment” any TNC will have the same rights at least with domestic companies. None of signing country can provide much more advantageous to it’s own investors than foreign investors.
According to the “most favoured nations” principle, entire TNCs in host country will have the same advantageous. Because none of signing country will have the right to submit to any TNC an environment which has more advantageous than the others. So, TNCs will protect theirselves against both domestic companies in host countries and other TNCs.
The principle on national treatment in one hand will be shrinked the politic manoeuvre area of Governments in the other hand, it will increase their responsibilities. Because, when the governments can not demand for solution of a problem in country from foreign companies, the task will shoulder on governments and domestic companies. For example, if it’s not possible to receive an assistance from foreign companies on regional development or any other issue, this task will be given to domestic companies and this mean domestic companies will have too much loads and they will be in a disadvantageous position against TNCs.
The agreement, stipulates democracy and transparency in order to run the principles named as “national treatment” and “most favoured nation”. The demands on democracy and transparency remind me another democracy demand which was made by employers association in Turkey. The efforts to eliminate child labour also can be considered in same context. Because the capital which wrapped a formal formation wants to prevent other informal capital groups well then. And the democracy and transparency mentioned in MAI, is such a non-functional piece of nonsense.
Another important provision in MAI is related to the right to demand compensation from the Governments for TNCs to meet the damages on their investments. For example, if any Government announces to it’s citizens by using media that cigarette is harmful for health, multinational cigarette producers will have the right to claim compensation or to stop this announcement by showing the affects of this warning on their profit margins as an excuse. In this way, consumer models will be dictated to people where TNCs gone and nobody can interfere to this development.
Violations of social profits will also include the issues on ecologie like nuclear energy or mining investments. For example, gold mining issue in Turkey has distracted public opinion for many years and if MAI is signed, multinational gold mining companies in our country can claim the compensation for their damages associated from delays. (Almost since 8 years they could not start to extract gold are due to public reactions and legislative regulations in Turkey) because the agreement will be valid also for the past and national judicial decisions beforehand will be invalid after MAI. All of these are in the extent of politic rights.
For politic power, for example in privatization domestic and foreign companies will be subjected to the same treatment without considering any differentiation between them. As you will recall we always opposed privatization debates to prevent the transfer of national shares to foreign investors. The main reason of this opposition was the fear of foreign dominance. Moreover, many evidences were found to convince public opinion and authorities like French example. In French privatization it’s forbidden to sell more than 40% of public shares to foreign investors as similar with some other countries. But, after MAI, such a rule will not be able to introduced. The world will be assumed as a single country, whole capital groups will be subjected to the some treatment, even in public owned economic units any provision which can damage the profit of TNCs can not be introduced.
And the last point, if the profit of TNCs decreases due to implementations or decisions taken by Governments, foreign companies can bring a suit of law to claim compensation against host country.
For the politic insurance of foreign investors, every nation will have to create a complerely liberal environment by removing articles in it’s own national legislation system which are in contradiction with the profits of TNCs. This is a very clear obligation. First we obligate to ensure a more liberal system and then we guarantee both the continuousness of this excessive liberalism and to apply it also to other foreign investors who have come to the host country before MAI.
Any country who signed MAI, can not resign from the agreement at least 5 years but, after 5 years even it decides to resign, it is must to comply with the provisions in agreement for 15 years. To sum up it must be in agreement de facto totally 20 years.
The general frame of MAI is that. According to all of these, one point is very clear for me. It seems that capitalist system has come to the last point of it’s own phase. As of fixed and changeable components of capital accumulation, capital means a huge wealth and technologie accumulation any longer. This also means a kind of maturity. The borders of nations will be removed in only economic manner but legislative and politic borders of nations will strengthen, namely, TNCs will exploit every thing in host countries economically but whole cost of these economic activities will be shouldered by nations. This is a very new version of old colonialism. When the Belgians had gone to Congo in first colonialism term, they had not tried to make people in Congo Belgians. They had not brought their own laws and economic system to Congo deliberately. Because their main target was to exploit work force, natural resources and unconsciousness of people in Congo. All of these were also the reasons of their escaping from Belgium. And now, it’s possible to see these in MAI process. Therefore, I do not agree on national states would be eradicated with MAI.
For export issue, it can be asked that “why do you oppose the entering of foreign capital and high technologie” As I told before, firstly foreign investors have not any worry like to bring their original technologie and secondly, I really wonder that whether this agreement will increase our export volume. In my opinion it is also not possible.
According to another provision in MAI , none of stipulation which can improve economic conditions in country including to create additional job oportunuties , to increase employment to use domestic inputs in production process , to push export or to transfer high technologie can be put forward against TNCs . All of these are legislative provisions. Therefore we have not any chance to ignore these provisions. Whereas , today we can put forward some improving elements whatever we like them or not against foreign investors. And today businessmen support coming foreign capital into Turkey by showing these arrangements as rightful reasons. If all of these advantageous will be removed after MAI , may be it’s necessary to think this matter again. Of course TNCs will export some part of their products and this will be useful for host countries but if it’s thought their income transfers and payments for their key personnel , probably host country will not gain as much as it will lose on these investments.
Now , I want to thank to my friends in United Metal Workers’ Union for they organised this panel. But let me remind that till only a few years ago while privatisation debates were going on some groups including trade unions did not reject privatisation philosophy completely. They declared that they can accept it , if job security , transparency in sellings and spreading capital through rank and file can guarantee. Dear friends this is an unacceptable approach as well as impossible. It can only be possible if how much it’s possible to grow a blond race in this geography, culture , feeding system and biologic environment. Moreover , if privatisation is realised on real value of investment(on transparency) , it’s consequences for labour or labour/profit are rather definite.
Every system works with it’s own dynamics ; it’s not possible to change it by accordingly individual desires. It’s very difficult to interfere the system from outside . Because dominant elements of system can make self sacrifice or can make concessions to silence opposing team and can manoeuvre only when it gets hold of whole mechanisms and if there are some thing for it’s own interest. In my opinion social state policies are not profits. If they were , we had not any problem like MAI today.
We have to consider the dynamic of philosophy. Now we’re in a train and it’s going. We have to understand clearly our destination and last stop. If someone talks on MAI or privatisation , we should listen him very carefully by taking his back ground into account. People who talk in favour of MAI or privatisation can have profit from these phenomenons. When MAI signed , gross capital groups can integrate with TNCs or can save themselves by becoming subcontractor for TNCs . Even it may be possible for them to have a little high technology. Whereas small and medium companies are still not aware of dangerous .
As a typical rule of capitalist system big fishes will gulp down the small fishes and whole disadvantageus will be shouldered by SMEs and most of them will be wiped out from the markets. Consequently , I say that we have to oppose this agreement as whole people instead of to accept it by puting forward some conditions like to add a few provisions which aim to protect workers’ rights or natural resources. Because we don’t have any bargaining chance. It’s necessary to have the class even the system conscious to reach the success in struggle against MAI.
Dear president expressed his expectations to organise joint action against MAI , after this panel.
We have to be careful too much because as in all economic issues ,in also MAI matter there are different profit groups. Every profit group will speak in the line of it’s own profit. Therefore worker class have to determine it’s own point of view very clear while it’s continuing to discuss MAI in public opinion . Because gross capital groups have many advantageous on MAI and they can increase their politic power and economic profits by co-operating with TNCs. However it’s very clear that gross capital groups will be in an activity against worker class and entire society while they’re co-operating with other transnational capital groups .
Prof. Dr. Ahmet TONAK
I would like to start by telling two quotations from Milliyet Newspaper . In first quotation there is a comment from U.S. ambassador in Turkey : “ American companies tell me that the mechanism of Council of State is the single biggest problem in front of new foreign investors who intend to invest in Turkey. And they say that , 30 billion $ is ready to invest in Turkey but this amount will not be transferred until a solution is found for the mechanism of Council of State.”
In same day on 21st April 1998 , another quotation says that : “ Foreign investors who sacrifices a few billion dollar of course will seek a strong guarantee to protect theirselves from risks. If any problem occures in laws or practice the solution is mostly being abandoned to judicial powers and in such cases foreign investors do not feel themselves under law umbrella enough. And the legislation system in Turkey is an obstacle infront of privatisation too. Deceased Mr.Özal had omitted to form a infra structure for legislation system in Turkey . Whereas , it might be possible to add an international arbitrator clause which could multiplied the incomes of Turkey while necessary changes were processing in Constitution of Turkey in Özal’s term. “ (From Güneri Civao?lu - journalist)
There are an extra ordinary similarity between two quotations. I haven’t seen any foreign investment and American advocacy like that till today. I think there is not need too much comment on these quotations.
In my opinion , the extent of MAI in press and media is incomplete . Firstly I want to express something about this deficiency and then I want to touch the liberty of foreign capital liquidity and it’s affects on our country.
Together with discussions in press some important issues have come out to day light. One of them direct foreign investments. This means foreign investors who invest in real sectors in Turkey. (Fabrics, plants , machines , equipment etc.) But , the scope of agreement and comments on investment categories are rather broaden and flexible in MAI. Prof.Önder has already touched some parts of these.
In agreement , they don’t mean only real sectors while they are mentioning “investment”, this definition also includes non-physical rights , copy rights on the jobs related arts and financial instruments , gamblings in stock exchanges , speculations , manipulations and etc. I have to stress this point. In generally we suppose that MAI means new regulations for foreign investors to launch a fabric in countries. But in fact , the agreement is not that much. According to MAI , capital can be used in a very flexible scope. And second point is related to the actors of questioned investments. This aspect is being omitted partly for me . The actors of these investments are trans national companies. Consequently , it’s important to consider how do TNCs concretise and function in Turkey as well as to discuss them as an abstract category, an organisation or an actor. Now , I’m going to say something on this matter.
Several authorities like academicians , authors ,journalists and parliementers are interpreting current MAI agreement in very different ways. While they’re interpreting it, they are using many codes and attributing many inevitableness to politic views which resulted from these codes. In my opinion , it’s not possible to agree with these comments. You know the name of main code: Globalizm . There are some trends which can be assumed economic basis for Globalizm. As of politic consequences resulted from Globalizm , it’s emphasized that national states expired it’s period and fell into disfavour .Consequently the destinies of different economic regions in the world have been determined by global economic approach . So it’s not meaningful to constitute national economic policies according to this philosophy. Instead of to do that , it would be essential to make economies more liberal and open . In their opinion if we can keep in step with way of life it could be possible to make progress. And as concerning with MAI and it’s scope , foreign investors must be encouraged to come into developing countries .
People who have opposite views are named as old-fashioned patriotics and etc.
One of national journalists Mehmet Altan says that “ let’s leave these old-fashioned approaches , in fact this is a new bourgeois revolution” .According to him some patriotics are against MAI due to they can not comprehend the revolutionist side of this event. Just like as happened in French Revolution in 1789 , French people could also not comprehend the revolutionist aspect of bourgeois class.
Globalizm or any other philosophy , as I mentioned before really there are some economic trends in world economy and I am going to summarize these under three titles : One of them is international trade which changed so fast in last 15-20 years. The second one is international financial movements which also changed very fast.One of the indicators of this determination is the amount of speculative money which circulates in New York Banks 1 trillion in a day. If you take other important financial markets in the world into consideration, this amount will increase to an unbelievable level. And the third one of these economic trends is foreign direct investments to the real sectors. As you can see on the graphics in fact this last trend is not permanent as much as it’s presented. I think that we drew near to it’s turn point.
All of this three trends represent growth rate , namely if indicator goes up to 150 from 100 in a year the velocity in increase is %50 . Let’s look at the different terms of this three trends by accepting growth velocity in this way .Firstly we should examine GNP indicator to be able to see the production capasity in the world. If whole goods and services are added up and it’s asked that how much production volume in the world did increase annualy in dollar basis , the first column of graphic shows that GNP of world has grown up with 11% velocity between 1986-1990 in current prices base. If you look at the velocity in increase of export volume as an indicator for the velocity in international trade you will see a 14% growth annualy . But foreign direct investments have grown up faster than GNP and international trade with 24%. This is an important relation. Because foreign direct investments have grown up faster than both the velocity in increase of GNP in the world and the velocity in increase of export volume .
When we look at the second term between 1990 and 1996 we can see some clues which can light the way for particularly last period . Firstly , in general world production decreased. The velocity in increase of GNP in the world decreased to 6.4% while the velocity in increase of export volume was going down to approximately 7.4% . ( Almost half of previous levels). In foreign direct investments , the percentage declined to 17 from 24. So it seems in all indicators that whole world economy was in a slow down together with globalizm trends.
When we look at 1996 as the last year of questioned period , we can see a more interesting view. All annual increases are in slow down and the velocity in increase of export volume is staying behind of the increasing velocity of world GNP for the first time . I want to add fix capital investments in the world because this is concerning directly with our subject. As I told before fix capital investments also mean productive investments. Increasing velocity of investments in fabrics, machines, equipments are slower than other indicators as relatively in first two terms . But in 1996 , there is an increase in that indicator.
This is also a remarkable point. Thus , we can catch some clues which can be assumed as proofs for a slowing down term in globalizm. So what are the reasons of this slowing down term ? It’s possible to explain this in a general frame. Since 70s , particularly in industrialized countries a very serious structural crises has been ruled and they couldn’t succeed to defeat this crises. As periodical , some times they seemed as if they defeated it depending on own dynamics of business cycle . Specially when we look at the unemployment rate in European countries or when we consider the life standards in fall in U.S we can see that they could not over come this structural crises which has continued since 70s. Therefore globalizm should be evaluated as flutters for escaping from this crises in the light of these statistical datas.
A concrete information related to this determination : The growth velocity in the term of 1959-1970 in OECD countries which are named as “Riches club” was 4.8% for 11 years. In crises period between 1970-1994 this percentage is only 2.8 for 24 years. It decreased almost 40% in this period. This is an incredible situation. Because if you says only growth velocities like 4.5 or 5.6 , it’s not explain every thing. But if the importance and production capacities of these countries for world economy is considered , 50% fall in growth velocity is a very serious problem and this shows also the seriousness of crises.
In my opinion , this long term structural crises of capitalism in industrialized countries is the reason of globalizm. Another dimension of this phenomenon is income sharing problem. The imbalanceness in income sharing between countries are growing very fast . According to statistics which were made between 7 richest and 7 poorest countries in 1965 , the income level of 7 richest country was 20 times of the income level in 7 poorest countries . In 1995 , same ratio reached to 40 from 20. To sum up , the imbalanceness in income sharing multiplied by 2 times while growth velocity was decreasing 50%. This is a very important indicator for our discussions.
Recently a research was completed by an economist from Harward University, Mr.Williams , “ How much does today’s globalizm look like the previous trends ? Mr.Williams is asking that it’s possible to reach some concrete findings related to current trends by following previous periods. As all of us know very well that this globalizm process does not happen the first time for world economic system . At the end of 19th century almost between 1890 - 1914 or till the first world war many globalizm trends were lived even faster than today’s . These trends produced some results which are very similar today’s trends. According to resarch of Williams income sharing in developed countries was disconcerted too much . Forexample today if we consider particularly U.S or West Europe countries , income sharing has changed too much in favour of riches in these countries. Although if it’s compared with income levels in poor countries , these levels are still too high. In U.S , since from almost 20 years real wages are being decreased. Therefore , sometimes 2 or 3 persons in same family have to work to be able to continue their exist life standard . There is only one differance between today’s and previous globalizm : Previous globalizm trends had corrected the imbalanceness in income sharing relatively . But today , even in developing countries there are same disconserting trends in income sharing just like in developed countries. Turkey is a typical example for this phenomenon. All of us know what happened in last 10-15 years in Turkey.
According to results of Williams’ study : The globalizm trends at the end of 19th century was started a more conservative and protectionist period for 35 years together with 1st world war. Particularly the period between 1914-1950 represents an entire etatist economy for the world export and capital movements . It’s because today’s events remind us past periods . I think that we are coming near to the last point of today’s globalizm. Of course this view is open to discuss.
In fact , I don’t want to say too much things on scope of MAI. But I have to touch on a few points concern foreign investments in Turkey. If it’s signed , this agreement will lead to abolishment of national judicial rights, sovereignity and similar rights by establishment of international arbitration councils. One of important reasons of coming to an end of racism in Southern Africa is the absence of MAI in that term.
If any agreement like that was signed before , many western countries including U.S would not be able to put forward the provisions in their legislation against their own transnational companies. According to MAI , signing countries will not be able to put forward new restrictive rules against their own TNCs. Therefore , if MAI was signed before Southern Africa might stay as a racist country forewer.
On foreign investments , the trends in the world are rather interesting. For last a few years the foreign investments particularly in third world countries have gradually increased. Firstly , it’s required to examine the extent of foreign investments. We have to understand that where the investments on machines , fabrics and etc. have gone by inspecting stock values. When we add all of these up , it can be seen that 75% of these investments were shared by OECD and industrialized countries.
More than 60% of foreign direct investments are also being shared by rich countries when we look at the records related to last few years. In distribution of foreign direct investments in third world countries , 75-80% of total foreign direct investments in third world countries is being shared by 10 countries . These countries are mostly in South America and Asia. The resource countries of these foreign direct investment are U.S and Britain with 40%.
To sum up only 2 states can control 50% of total foreign direct investments in the world . If we consider U.S. together with China the percentage becomes 30. However some profit groups create an artificial image as if there were a huge foreign investment in circulation and whole poor countries could have portion from this cake. This is completely a trick. I mean that , foreign investors are treating with a very selector manner. In Turkey the debates on foreign investments are usually made by using datas from Treasury and Foreign Trade Under Secretary. There are two important matters in these datas which should be given attention. In Treasury Department the front permits are assumed as if became definite and added to statistical reports. And then the companies can not be realized questioned investments.
Prof. Dr. Ýlhan TALINLI
Hello dear guests. When I was invited to talk in this panel first time by United Metal Workers Union I did not know what the exact theme was. But I was happy when I learned the theme and now, I want to thank to United Metal Workers’ Union Executive once more. Now, I changed my talking plan according to the speechs were made by dear economy professors and economist researchers. Now, I will try to open a hot window from beeches. Please don’t misunderstand my tellings but I refuse “economy”. Now I don’t speak as a citizen of a nation, I speak as a human. Of course I’m from Turkey, but in the same time I’m from eco system. To sum up, my priority is eco system.
Two days ago we celebrated National Sovereignty and Children Holiday. On whole walls it’s written that “Sovereignty is in the hands of Nation”. NO, dear friends the sovereignty is in the hands of eco system. In another words, the sovereignty is for every body and every thing including sects, turtles, birds, fishes, salt, olive, seas, all organics and inorganics who are living in an order in eco system.
I think, now you’re asking by yourself that what’s the relation between MAI and these. Dear friends, environment is an entirety of eco systems. The world is the biggest eco system. In the world, whole sects, animals, plants, humans, seas, river and lakes live together in a balance end there are strong organic relations between them.
The word of economy which comes from the words of eicos (home) and nomi (governing) in Greec means home management. The criteria of economy is money or GNP, GDP, the velocity of development. The populations- I don’t say state, nation, developed, developing or under developed- in ecological system establish a dominance on each of them by using a paper change named as money. This not only means a dominance on a human, this dominance is also valid for turtles, sects, birds, fishes and other species.
Who are human, turtles, frogs, these are the resources of eco system. So, how should we manage these resources and what MAI and similar trade- investment agreements will bring to hinder this resource management?
Now, please try to remember some movies on TV. In the year of 2030, many living things invade our world and they change it seriously. Close your eyes and assume that whole people in the world are 20 years old today. Let’s say that will live till 100 years old. So they have still 80 years more. And after 80 years, these people will leave from the world and new people will come instead of them. Now, I’m returning today again. This world were delivered us. We did or gave something and one day we will go. In this process the most eminent value is labour. This labor is for human, animal to sum up for all resources in eco system. Accordingly, we should know for whom and for what when we work, produce or earn money. Let’s make it more concrete. If some multinational companies come and intend to extarct ore gold in Pergamon for their financial and economic profits, I have to remind them that these people who will work in mining area, these olive and pine trees which will be cut due to infrastructural activities in mining area and these soils are owned by eco system. These are not mine or TNCs’ or developed countries’ or developing countries’ like ours. Now we will glance at the rules of eco system. Think a baloo, if you press on it’s one side, on the other side a salient occurs. This is “Le chatelie principle” and it’s a thermo- dynamic rule. It’s not possible to ignore this rule. It’s very clear that if you use imperialism by insisting capitalist colonial system or you tolerate it and you don’t react it, automatically you support them to create or continue the slavery system. And that time, they are right to come and exploit eco system’s natural resources. Therefore the first priority in the world is environment. That’s why, the environment has started to be a focal point with it’s multi directions.
I want to continue by analysing gold mining. When I examine economical and financial dimensions of gold I can not find even a word related to environment. I’m not economist, may be the main problem is that. In fact, I should calculate the value of an olive grain or a turtle, a earthworm. I should also calculate the value of lost of these endemic species due to chronic poisoning substances or the economical value of efforts to reach at the climax point in ecological system. If you can not calculate the economic values of these losts you can not resist economical and monetarial insists.
Human being is lean. It means human can be bought and the main guilty is human. So I have to make an inventory and budget for all values in eco system.
When some multinationals offer a 60 million dollar gain through gold mining, it’s beneficial use must be discuss in detail. Because these MNCs have to collect 3.5 million m3 chemical substances in a dam, I mean you have to pay 700 million dollar for removing-not even refining- for only removing these substances. Where is the economy? This is only a deception.
Now, there is another danger in front of our door, Nuclear energy. They are threatening us with lighting, heating and other vital electricity facilities by saying that we’re a poor country for electricity production. The examples can be multiplied, but I don’t want to spend your time too much. I think it’s better to tell the starting point for all of these insists. MAI, it’s a very new concept for me. But I know and follow very well it’s roots for many years. These roots are based on exploitation system. I don’t mean an exploitation introduced by one country to another one when I’m talking about exploitation. I mean the dominance on several populations in eco system. When we try to reduce the number of sorts of these populations and when we try to make more strenghten the dominant population at that day we will be brutal persons. We have to know “what should we be against” to reach the right balance.
Dear friends, we have to fight against sustainable development concept which started in Rio in the name of environment and continued with the conference in Tokyo. We must be oppose Barcelona and Magreb Agreements which try to open new ways to pollute Mediterranean. Please give me a chance to make you available to understand me.
Think that a minister of environment can say that “we can not be watchman for our rich natural resources “by ignoring the right to live of human beings, trees, turtles and all of organics and inorganics as if she was apart from them. And this minister can make the environment policies through this approach. If we believe these statements and accept these policies would not we bite ourselves like a scorpion?
The ministry of environment in Turkey, is publishing a monthly bulletin. According to this flash, the people in Pergaman have been misleaded by some academicians and science experts. They are clearly ignoring the labour, products, culture, information and other values of people who live in Pregamon. I called the environment engineers to account for this article in our Congress. I urged them to fight against this kind of attacks.
I call every body to defence sustainable eco-system instead of sustainable development. The developments of countries depend on to protect the natural resources.
There are many examples in our world which are turned me out to be right. Today, people are lying on rail ways in Germany to obstacle the trains which are carrying nuclear wastes to West Pavia and Black sea. In India, 72000 person dead in a night in Bopal due to chemical technology which was sold to India. 200000 person were evacuated from the region. Was this disaster which resulted cyanide leaking out an investment for India or a punishment?
Is there any greater dangerous except the lost of 72000 person? And remember the Hiroshima and Nagasaki disasters. The wars are still continuing and our eco system demands it’s blood money.
Yes friends, I demand the economical value of these losts from every bodies. If some bodies make an economical calculation and budget for these losts, every body will say “No more gold mining” and “No more nuclear energy”. Because the eco system does not allow for these exploitations. We have one thing to do. We will never forget the self respect of being human and we will make this budget with a collectivist approach by abandoning individualism.
Thanks for your listening.
Prof. Dr. Ýsmail DUMAN
Dear guests, firstly we should examine the resource consumption or the use of natural resources. The basic target of MAI is to provide TNCs free entering to any markets in the world without facing the difficulties.
Economical regions in the world, which have particularly less developed democratic system, or have not a legislative system aimed to protect natural resources and are sensitive on ecology including fishing, forests and mining will be threatened tremendously by this agreement. In another word, rain forests may be bought or rent, to be thin out trees and lakes and rivers may be opened to the cruel fishing activities with the help of new technologies in host countries.
Furthermore, the forests are not only there in West Canada, Brazil or Siberia, we also have forests in Turkey. And once upon a time we had much more forest, I think some of you can remember that time. What’s the core of the first Ministry of Forest in Turkey? In the mids of 1800s during the war between Ottoman and Russia, the Great Britain which were agreeing of Ottomans, demanded it’s previous investments back from Ottomans as the war indemnities. But, the ottomans had no money to pay to British Government and they offered the forests in Ottoman lands. So it was unavoidable to establish a General Directory to deliver the buds by counting which were cut before. Thus, the foundation of the first Ministry of Forest was laid in the mids of 1800s. To sum up, the task of this Directory was to cut and to count the buds. Let me to consider our current Minister free from defect, because he is the best of recent forest ministers.
Now, imagine our long shores which are available for fish farmers. Today, we’re complaining from fish farmers who want to grow several fishes in Gökova gulf but when TNCs explore these shores, I’m afraid that there will not be any space even to take a step in the sea.
I want to touch on biological variety, particularly fast consumption of the resources of plant genetics. You know, how our snow flowers were broken up and moved out side of Turkey with sacks. In our geography there are 3000 endemic types and many uncultivated lands for TNCs’ mouth to water. All of these riches will be open to TNCs to exploit freely.
To pay compensation to the host country will not be in question for these losts while TNCs are attacking and abusing. And they will leave after they consume every thing and start to seek new exploitation areas in the world without saying even a “sorry”. In MAI process, some restrictions on foreign investors or investments will have to be removed at once in some countries or in some others these regulations will remain some as special national exceptions. On the other hand all restrictions will be under new liberalism pressures according to “go back” principle in agreement.
Let’s we glance at mines a little bit. The pillage initiatives of underground resources had started before MAI negotiations. Artvin city which is settled in north east of Turkey is a rather interesting example on mining activities. Canadian Comunco Co. had wanted to extract gold and copper mines in Atilla valley in Artvin city.
The company had started to build it’s infrastructure activities and permitted area for them was 17 hectare. This figure is only for Atilla valley, they also have a lot of mining licences in Artvin city except this. In this 17 hectare there are 770100 trees totally. In only mining area, 250 hectare will be expropriated and this means to cut 250000 spruce trees. If we examine what MAI will bring and take we have to consider the value of these trees not only the cost of expropriation.
However, the functional cost of a tree is an equal amount of the value of 2000 buds. Here, this value will be lost eternally. Even the cost of timbers resulted such kind of tree cut will be million of dollars.
In MAI context, in many countries the governments will be urged to remove the barriers in front of foreign investors due to competition resulted from new liberalism measures. Namely, they will come and say that “I have 100 million dollar to invest, who does demand it?” Forexample your government will demand this investment, buy they will refuse your demand by saying “No sir, the legislation on environment in your country is too hard, first you have to change it”. This attitudes will reduce the standards on labour, environment, democracy and human rights to the bottom. This is the power of capital, they think that they’re right to do these and if we close our eyes to this conduct, they will really be right in my opinion.
This competition race will hit particularly the norms on labour and social field as well as the policies related to environment.
The competition will reduce the social and environmental standards, the effect of legislative system and slacken the regulations. The long term affects of MAI will be felt much more in many countries which particularly have weak environmental regulations. In many countries the governments will not sign international environmental agreements to avoid to increase environmental standards. The countries will race each of them to be more attractive for foreign investors and this trend will be encouraged much more by “stand still” principle in MAI. With this principle the negotiators aimed to forbid to lay down new laws which are not parallel with MAI.
According to 3rd article of agreement, what will current environment legislation in signing countries happen? As you know, the investors will have a very strong weapon: “International courts” to solve the disputes between investors and host governments. With this weapon foreign investors can execute by shooting all environment acts if they don’t like. There are two definition in agreement text which are strengthening this possibility. In fact the definitions are not enough clear but it’s very clear that the main target is to abuse these. One of them is “De facto discrimination” or “negative discrimination” and the other one is “indirect publicisation”. For example if foreign investors be in an indisposition due to any environment law which laid down after MAI, they can bring a suit at law based on these definitions to demand compensation from host country. Or if the states make a decision on environmental issues like “to decrease the rate of pollution in waste waters regulation” and if these decisions affect on expected income in foreign investment, the investors will be able to demand to be compensated of it’s monetary lost by trusting in “indirect publicisation” definition. This kind of situation is not an estimate or assumption.
The pattern of MAI is NAFTA. Currently in NAFTA context there are many cases like that. Recently the OECD governments have started to show a more sensitive attitude on environmental matters thanks to NGOs who are actig to protect natural resources and to promote the measures on environment in these countries or to be more exact they have to show themselves as if they were more sensitive. By the side of social and labour issues, environmental policies have also grappled to three different parts of MAI text, this is named as “three anchor principle”.
With this principle, many new rights have been proved to TNCs and now I will try to explain how they will use these rights. The first example is the fight between American Etil Corp. And Canada Government. In April 1997, the Parliament in Canada has forbidden the use and import of FMT which is used as a contribution material for benzine and the reason of this decision was “high health risks”. The Etil Corp. is the single company which produces FTM in Canada and it has no any rival in this country. However Etil Corp. has brought a suit at law against the Government in Canada by having recourse to NAFTA Court Commission and it has demanded a 251 billion dollar compensation from the state. The company has shown the cost of it’s investments, it’s future endorsement as reasons and interpreted this initiative as an “indirect publicisation”. According to the NAFTA rules, this amount have to be compensated by Canada Government as material.
The second example is related to another disagreement between American substance trader Metal Corp. and Mexico Government. American Metal Corp. has brought a suit at law against Federal Mexico Government in St. Louis Potosi. This case has started with the application which were made by the company to establish a station to put aside of chemical substances. However The University of St. Louis Potosi has published an expert report on jeological dimension dimension of this application. The Governor of St. Louis Potosi has not given permission to the company by taking the scientific report into account. According to report the risk of pollution for drinkable waters will increase if this station is established by the company. But the plant has not interrupted it’s activities and established the station. Then the Governor of State has announced the region as “natural protection area” to prevent the waters being poisoned. After this decision, American company has brought a suit at law against Mexico Government and demanded 90 million dollar compensation by claiming that this decision was an indirect publicisation. 90 million dollar is very interesting amount, because it’s higher than total annual income of all families who are living in this region.
Before the discussions on MAI, we told that the privileges, official licenses, provided supports which have been given to Multinational Gold Mining Companies by the Governments in Turkey mean second Sevres Agreement for our country. Gold mining at the south part of our world are not enough promising well now. Because the gold ores at the upper side of earth had been extracted till now and they have to go to the lower (to>
national gold miners which had been operated since decades in southern part of the world, came to the north part to seek new areas to exploit them too. Firstly there should be gold are where they gone and secondly the democratic rules should not be worked, so much so that arbitrary implementations should be dominant instead of values like human rights, democracy or life. Yes, they found this country at last, it was Turkey. All criteria were appropriate for them.
The first application for licence was made by Tubrag (Turkish Preussac). Originally this is a multinational German Company and it has so many foreign partners. This company has come to Turkey too and added a “Turkish” word to it’s original name very fast and applied to the Ministry of Mines to extract ore gold in Havran-Küçükdere in Turkey. They could succeed to get licences for many region in Turkey, but the Ministry of Environment in that period did not permit to them. In spite of this they did not leave from country. They have still an office in Ankara and they’re intending to operate in tourism sector too. In Germany they bought the biggest tourism company named TUI. And now they are buying plane fleets. If you wonder that what is the relation between gold mining and tourism, it’s enough to look at our Aegean coasts.
The second application for gold mining was made by Euro Gold Company in Pergamon. At first every thing was going well but one day some ones told that “No, you can’t do this activity here in Pergamon”. And this disagreement reflected to legislative process. After a very long legislative process, the highest court decided that the right to live has priority comparing with economical rights. To sum up, gold mining with cyanide is not useful for people according the decision of highest court in Turkey.
As you know, the decisions which were made by the highest court can be proped up by the council of Ministers by taking political responsibility. You will remember the examples related to this event from electricity centrales which are operating with coal. In these examples the council of Ministers has clarified that there is a usefulness for people. But, in Pergamon the sea has finished.
The selling endorsements of these multinationals are higher than GNPs in many countries. For example the annual endorsement of General Motors are higher than the annual GNP of Turkey or the endorsement of Nestle is higher than the annual GNP of Egypt. Usually in these compares settled multinationals are used, but gold mining multinationals have are used, but gold mining multinationals have a very important peculiarity. They are representing the “Floating capital” in the world. They’re migrant. They are exploiting every thing in 5-10 years and then they are leaving from the country. They never bring any technology or any profit to host countries. I can demonstrate the proofs of my hypothesis : Let you think of southern part of our world. They had produced gold there for 100 years by using cyanide-which were refused by my highest court-. There are totally 30 country in southern part of the world. But these countries are still living in misery in spite of thousands tones of gold production. None of these countries could get their portion from gold. Papua New Guines, Fiji, Mali, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zaire, Columbia, Chilli, Uruguay...... Today, they have only poisoned lands.
There is one very important point more related to gold mining. The gold mining companies are the smallest firms on workers employment. 80-100 workers are enough to the companies to work after establishing process. And they bring their key personnel mostly from outside, therefore the necessity for workers from domestic labour market is limited with maximum 50 workers.
In Turkey, 580 mine seeking licences had been delivered. Each of licence is valid for the area of 100 km2, this mean totally 58.000 km2 land which has expropriation competence. The expropriation competence is more valuable than the title-deed right. If we consider the total lands of Turkey which is 780.000 km2, this area represents 1 to 13.5 (1/13.5) of Turkey. None of politicians or competent authorities has a right to sign such a 2nd Sevres Agreement without asking us. That means to say that the trials and preparations for MAI have been introduced for a long time in our country.
I’ve mentioned from a company named Tüprag and I told that the Ministry of environment did not permit to this company. However, last year in August they announced on a foreign magazine that they had gold mining licences for total 38 miles in turkey (approximately 100 km2) and they will start to work in 2000. Of course there is a mechanism they trusted, if there was not, they had not be able to declare such a statement. The Cominco corporation in Artvin City, stated that they will wait till 2000 last week. Thanks their kindness. Don’t be surprised if you hear tomorrow that Eurogold has declared to stop it’s activities till 2000.
Eurogold company sent a letter to the Governor of Yzmir city on 18 February 1998 it’s really a warning example. The letter was about the use of cyanide for their test working. They did not need to apply for even a permission. They say that “We have to work to test our system. For your information”. As you understood this is not a permit demand, it’s completely an insist. There is another letter was sent to the Ministry of Environment by Eurogold Co. They say that “We appreciated your supports from our hearts for our project which represents the future of Turkish mining industry”. This is really unbelievable, as though it was sent to the Minister of Mining, not to the Minister of Environment. And they add that “of course we can endure to stop our activities for a few days, but this will be against you, because other foreign investors will change their mind on making investment in your country when they see the attitudes which were shown us”. Namely, they are trying to represent themselves as if they were spokesmen for all foreign investors in the world. And they don’t forget to threat the Government by saying “if these restrictions continue we have to take some measures to prevent them”. Let’s estimate what can they do. They have WTO, GATT, MIGA, they can demand compensation from us. But, our representatives including Prime Minister, The Council of Ministers and etc. have not the right to pay this compensation. Because I’m a citizen who pay the taxes regularly. They did not ask me while they were making this mistake. We will not close our eyes our tax payments being wasted.
But our State should know that we will be near our State when they face such a situation. Because the State are we and we’re government officials. Of course I have to mobilize my knowledge, energy to defend my State.
Thank you very much.
Dear guests, I will try to explain the legal approach of MAI as could as I do. Briefly, this agreement aims to regulate the rights and competences of multinational coorporations against national states. Although the agreement text has been changed continously, I will interpret the last draft.
The definition of investment is very wide and go beyond the narrow concept of foreign direct investment as physical investments to include banking, insurance, financial and other services , portfolio investments in general. The agreement will go beyond manufacturing to also cover the services sector.
Except this, the most important provision in MAI is “national treatment” principle. Under the MAI, the governments will be obliged to treat multinational enterprises and foreign investors not less favourably than they would domestic firms according to this principle and this rule is valid for all provisions in MAI.
Another definition in agreement is “key personnel”. If it’s signed by OECD countries, foreign investors can bring their personnel and staff freely into host countries by defining them as “key personnel”. In this frame it’s not possible to put barriers in front of investors or their key personnel to come into country. Originally since 1980s it’s not already been possible to establish such kind rules in Turkey due to submissional and incompetent behaviors of governments. However today in many places of world foreign investors have to comply with some special conditions when they want to invest in these countries. For example they have to transfer new technology at least in a minimum rate or they have to create new jobs or to train workers or to use specific amount of income in host country or to increase export and etc.
In also investment encouragements any discrimination can not be introduced between foreign and domestic investors. Because according to a provision aims to protect TNCs, it’s forbidden to take measures which are not reasonable or can damage TNCs. And the governments can not intervene the transfers of income which will be gotten after investment.
Another important provision on legal basis is disputes settlement procedure in which investors and not just governments will be able to take complaints to an arbitration process. At this point I want to remind that today there is only one organization which can be defined as an international judgement organization it is Human Rights Court of Europe. It’s not possible to make a definition except it. Consequently such kind of trade disputes can not be solved in international judgement. An international judgement is required very serious rules and a strong structure. The arbitration councils can not be assume as a judgement publication.
General lines of agreement is that all. In my opinion we firstly evaluate the principles in current Constitution in Turkey. For example there is an expression in our constitution which says “The owner of sovereignty is nation unconditionally”. The foundation of all national states in the world is this approach. With MAI, the State and TNCs are accepted as equal.
Thus national states renounce their claims on sovereignty competence for TNCs’ profits. However the States have not any luxury to renounce their competences. According to several articles (act.no.2,5,6) of our constitution, Turkey is a democratic, secular and social civil state and the state can not transfer it’s duties and competences to any person, organization or a group.
A state which lost it’s regulation competence turns to a “ghost state”. In first look as if there was a government but it’s inside is empty. Of course the state will try to turn being real from being ghost by using it’s military and police force. Today we are living this phenomenon in many cases.
If the state renounces it’s rights and competences in favour of TNCs, the Constitution has to be removed.
Especially at the end of the authority of economical sovereignity being lost , a lot of rules will be invalid itself.
Except this , it should be stressed that a principle of also social state too is going to be changed in question.
Social State , in direction to provide material and moral necessity of citizens it’s a state that it can interfere to the economy. With this agreement the state is leaving from whole economic platform. Actually it leaves from the economic platform but it will lose it’s impartiality wholly by leaving it’s regulatory role too and so it goes in to a negative situation . Because of the constitutions can not be changed , social state principle will completely be left. In my opinion it’s not possible with legally.
In the constitution ,especially in the areas like planning at the economical platform , or a principle like strengthen the industry there are some proposals required for social state. After MAI the state can no carry it’s obligations .
As continuous at the MAI text , what’s forbidden to the negotiating States. That’s why there is no any agreement about the multinational companies. It’s against the spirit of the agreement. When an agreement is done , it should determine the rights and obligations for all sides. When MAI is studied there is an important obligation that if the state or other factors damage to foreign investors they should pay a compensation to them. But in the country where the MNCs invest in ,if MNCs damage to this country or people who live in there the MNCs will have no any obligations to meet these damage . This can be an investment like electricity investment. The investor company if give it up and leave from the country, there is no any rule about solving this problem in MAI.
Beyond this , there are some social rules , principles which were accepted by social struggles and social state is one of them we can also say the problems related with monopolization and cartelization in this context. All of this MNCs who are sides to this agreement , indeed all of them are world wide monopolies and cartels and every body knows the damages and troubles caused by them.
To take unreasonable measures for the foreign investors are forbidden. But if you should make a serious agreement - which makes laws known - you have to make clear expressions . If you can’t do this , it will be a solution with commentary this comment is very important that by whom will done. In such a case when the company applies to an highest court , this mechanism will be international arbitration which was constituted with the participation of World Bank , NAFTA , IMF and/or U.N. And I think it’s not possible to discuss that which groups have a say in these mechanism.
There is not even a case which was won by Turkish public enterprises. All international arbitration cases are finished in favor of companies.
If a State renounces it’s duty and rights in favor of multinational companies, the citizens of this State will automatically be under control of multinationals.
Now, I want to explain MAI by giving a few example which help you to imagine what will happen after MAI.
Other lecturers mentioned about Eurogold mining company, you remember. If the MAI was signed, Turkish Government would not be able to say “No”, or the matter would be taken to international arbitration and the Government would have to pay compensation to the company. Because international arbitration committee will call the government to account, if the government can not show a “reasonable” (for whom?) to pay compensation will be unavoidable.
Or, if the matter is about nuclear substances-which are very important for industrialized countries and they usually prefer to transfer these dangerous substances to third world very secretly- the multinationals can demand to build a tailing dam to collect their nuclear substances. After MAI, the states can not resist against these demands in frame of agreement.
Or, some multinationals can come to Turkey to build nuclear powerhouse and you will not know originally what this company is doing there. Because the field invested in is assumed as their own lands. Therefore your state will not have the right to control on their investments. For example they can produce nuclear weapons and the dangerous substances will be left over after production process can poison the drinkable water or fertile lands but you don’t have the right to control due to MAI.
Free Trade Zones are rather important examples for MAI. After this agreement whole world will be a free trade zone for multinational companies. As you know the Governments have not the right to control free trade zones even today.
Some groups can ask us that if you respect international human rights court or international amnesty organization how can you protest international arbitration process which aims to solve disputes on investments just like the other mechanisms. According to our constitution the State has to respect human rights, consequently the constitution includes human rights but not to transfer the competences and the rights of state.
I want also to touch on privatization of energy sector in Turkey a little bit. All cases against privatization are based on the decisions which are taken by Constitution Court to cancel concerning acts. In these decisions there are very clear principles like to prevent cartels and monopols, some restrictions for foreign investors particularly on some strategic public services. Today, we can bring a suit at law against privatization initiatives by using these principles as references. In this context, MAI means to accept the privatization unconditionally.
Thanks for your listening.
Contribution from Prof. Dr. Ýlhan TALINLI
Dear Mr. Cando?an stated very clear. As you will remember I mentioned about eco system instead of other economical systems in my address. In 1932, M. Kemal Atatürk made a press statement to Le Monde Journalist on Montreux Agreement “The Bosphorous and the Dardanells should be under control of Turkey for military security”. But after only 4 years, Atatürk saw that the turning has changed, the ships have become large and large and he changed his mind and started to talk about environmental security.
If we have not seen this since 75 years which was seemed by Atatürk in 4 years, I can violate Montreux agreement with a single argument that is “environment”. Human being should also know to break laws and agreement like they know to make laws and agreements
Hello dear guests,
I tried to understand with my feelings that MAI will be a serious trouble for all of us when I heard it first time. After that I tried to listen and watch and then I learned that some other people including our State had been interested in, tried and struggled with this agreement since many year to create it’s principles and conitions to be able to derive profits from that topic which we have just heard. There hadn’t been a different thing on the world level, also the NGOs including the political parties and trade union movement had started to learn MAI very late in the rest of the world.
Because of that the reactions against the profits of TNCs, the agreement could not be signed on time and the OECD Governments had to postpone to sign it but we know that the matter was settled secretly many years ago.
Now, firstly I want to tell you a very brief lived anecdote concerned with what I understand from MAI on workers’ point of view. One of my friends is sentenced and being punished on coup d’etat on 1980 12nt September. There are some politics and some famous intellectuals in the jail. Every body is talking something related with their crimes and then they remember that there is one person more who is different a little bit from the others and ask him “why are you here, in jail” the villager replies that “I really don’t know sir, Mr. Judge told me that I damaged the constitution”.
Now, this is what I understood from MAI that our villager compatriot will be kept in jail due to he damaged the constitution but the most competent people in Government who are responsible for protecting the constitution can damage it, in not only our country in all countries of the world. For whom? Is it for the profits of strongest capital groups in the world? May be you will say that this was already being done and they don’t need to introduce a new agreement for that.
Nine years ago, another trade union meeting was held in Antalya and all important leaders of trade union movement in Europe were also there. On that day, the radios had announced a very important news related to coming together of west and first signals had appeared on collapsing of east Germany. I translated briefly this news to foreign trade unionists because I knew that they were interested in and supporting this development. All of them reacted by saying “what a pity” and I had to ask them that didn’t you expect and support it? They told that we were expecting and supporting this, but within a long term. And now we do not know what we will meet in the future.
Let me tell you another anectode from past. The trade unionists will remember this. Mr. Enzo Frenzo had come to Turkey as the General Secretary of European Trade Union Confederation. He made a sppech for DISK (Confederation of Progressive Worker Trade Unions in Turkey) in a conferance in Ystanbul. The theme was privatization and he told that till we learn that privatization meant poverty and unemployment, the ideological bombing to wash the brains had been dominant so much it’s therefore we are still trying to prevent it. After a short time, Enzo Frize had resigned from his task position it’s because he was ashamed from disgraces of trade union movement. Today, the humanity is living together with globalization which is required to interrogate on what it brought and took from societies.
Trade union movement in our country and also in our world is gradually awaring by facing with different barriers step by step which resulted from globalization which’s cost is being paid by poor people.
It was already not needed to defend as a social reaction and ideological meaning after East Block had been fragmented. Let us make the State smaller, cease from the public which is an instrument of social state, -even let’s go as far as that - privatize every thing including social security system, public services, education and let’s make the recipes of world bank and IMF in particularly under developed and developing countries and let them work to resist the system to be able to continue for their profits.
I have some personel feeling on where did MAI come from. There had been a meeting of world bank associated with Turkish employers Association (TÜSYAD) in Turkey. The meeting was mostly on social capital. But we shouldn’t understand it as the social state that we knew before. This is so different from that, I’ve just learned it there, I haven’t known before. However they have had some new impasses of the biggest capital in exploitation system. After they made the working cheaper in whole world they had created the model of North Korean, Indonesian which were submitted and showed us as Asian magic or Asian tigers. The new impasses mean to make working cost cheaper, much more profit - that our proffeseur stated that the liquidity of world capital has a hesitation-. I found a clue on the reasons of this problem in that meeting. The costs of wages in production process has lost it’s importance. The labour had been cheaper but cheaper wages had congested the profitability after a specific point. Because the money which has gone to bribe had doubled the labour costs. Furthermore this bribe and the arms of malpractice had extended to the all places like developed or undeveloped or to the countries which have been governed by dictatorship. The system had created this, that they have to give bribe as much as that, and they have risk also, there is no stabilization, the power based on votes can be fallen down suddenly and it is not important that how much the vote percantage of these government. It is important that the state has a stabilization, namely it is important that the bribe can be used. While I am using the word bribe I don’t mean only the money. Namely the bribe given to the system should be stabilized. Power is being lost, coupdetats are becoming dominant instead, military governments are coming, or as you know, for example the president in Russia is able to be angry and able to say “I discharged him”. All the multinational monopol profit agreements related with that president are being not practiced. Just think that a TNCs made an investment according to the oil pipe line agreements. Yes this time the capital is organizing against to the bribe anymore. World capital has launched an organization named as OECD to fight against the bribe and their main purpose is to protect the investments which were made in bribe. The experts in the world bank are studying on the projects related with this topic.
There are so many funny examples in this topic. For example there are some formulas which say “do not be satisfied only with buying the political power, buy all the organizations of the country how much ever there are through a kind of partnership”. The player of this game is the social capital. Here now we’re facing with another big dangerous named as MAI which aims to damage even to eradicate the constitutions of States through legislative principles which are valid for not only direct investments. The main purpose of them is to make the security of their money sure, namely the system is already going through, there is already a system based on exploitation, but they need to minimize also some other risks.
This is my opinion and this is what I understand from the situation of the worker. It is needed, to be known much more better and argued step by step by the system but here we have a problem that what will we do. Because this is being lived in all cases not only in one situation and the basic problem is the system practised in the world. In addition, the system based on the exploitation today is much more harder than the one in the past. They are making this by buying our brains directly not by using guns and by making humanist organizations stranger for each of them and by killing the ideologies. And media era is this system.
Let’s make what I want to say as concrete. Time of Teatcher’s coming into the power is meeting with the time of Murdac’s monopolization initiatives on some period. And English media was writing Murdac and Teatcher as mickey and mouse during the Murdac strikes. It was not a conciedence that these two words came together. Even the caricaturists were showing them as male and female pig lovers. These two - Teatcher and Murdac - have created a new system by establishing a partnership. What did they do? They took the social state backward level comparing with the past, may be it is still in a very high level in England for us. They killed off all the profits of English trade union movement. They dimineshed the number of organized workers to 50% just in a few years. This is a fearful putting aside and becoming stranger in ideological meaning.
We are coming back to todays, let us do not be decieved once more, what happened, the left party has come to the government in England again. Some bodies told that this was the victory of left wing. The same thing is valid for Germany too but when you examine deeply you can see same games. We were together again in a meeting, and the general secretary of trade union movement in Europe again was there, he told a world “I am here today, but I can’t know my socialist president how much ever has gone to the right when I go back to England”. You can see the situation.
There are some friends from the assembly of SPD who have seen the news. The programs of SPD is right more than the programs of the right parties (in ideological meaning). Namely we are living a “surrendering process”. Is this a chaos against this unbelievable exploitation of people in the all of the humanity and every field of life. No this is a sociological phenomenon. The French Revolution was an inside revolution. But a tremendous working class exploitation event had been lived after the French Revolution. After that the Marxism had been developed, trade unions and left parties occured ,social state concept developed and now a much bigger exploitation including imaginary exploitation there is.
I want to give you a few examples related with the dimensions of this. Today it is like that ILO has given up to defend it’s agreements which were made for working rights in the name of democracy in that time. Namely this is being told again today but in practice it is seen like being given up. Because the number of the workers who can benefit them is very limited in the world. Because most of workers who produce and work are working in informal economy.
There were two meetings during the week in Turkey. First meeting was in Ankara and it was about health and safety of workers. In 1970s the health and safety concept had started to develop. In that time trade union movement was trying to tell the importance of this issue to the workers. Today with the help of our doctors a seminar was organized and we learn that there is not any problem in Turkey any more. Because there is not such an agenda in front of our politicians. However there are much more events on being poisoned and these are in dangerous dimensions. Turkey’s working class are working in much heavier situations. Much more children are employed today and professional sickness are much more, but there is no any record related with them. Because nobody is being concerned about it.
We were in Gaziantep after this meeting. This time the subject was the youth and the problems of young people because of the 23rd of the April (it is a national children holiday). Only in Gaziantep- as though the customs, traditions and families are very important for Turkish people, and Gaziantep is a very small place, even the neighbours look after the person there, you know - there has been more than 1500 street children founded, who don’t home and live in the streets and sleep in the graves. There were Asia countries and tigers but it’s understood that the Asian tigers were made by paper. There are tigers in Turkey too. But we know that they also are paper tigers. If they poison the drinkable waters even without winking their eyes, if they threat workers for not being organized, if they don’t register the workers to social security system it’s clear that they are paper tigers.
These are SMEs which are insisted by the new system and the world bank and the situation in Anatolian lions is more tragedic, the most of the workers are children. . Where are we going? This doesn’t have an end and it’s name is contemporary slavery.
And the suicides are the other ways of contemporary slavery. After the last attack in north Korea 60 people committed the suicide in a day. You are looking to the other side of north Korea, if the ones who were chosen as the result of the democracy, any of them don’t fall down from the power. This calculation was made by the dictators in the first step. But it was not found enough ,the world capital was in a hard position once more. And in the second step, they say that this is not enough, this will get out from the government and will get into my control. . I will take you to bankruptcy to take you to my control. Because the cheap cost and labour have started to disturb the monopoly of the west world. Yes this is MAI, I think MAI is a way of breathing in this new congestion and it is bringing new rules and cares to itself.
This is our problem. We have been delivered to this ideology for a long time. We were delivered slowly, we were delivered by losing all our concepts related with the human rights and democracy.
I added and multiplied the numbers in the first years of my journalism career, I was a university journalist. We prepared a headline which said 10.000 students would not be access to the universities. Nearly the minister would resign from his job. We are not talking about 10.000’s anymore now. The number has reached millions plus 200,300,500 thousands today. We are in period of accepting to be appressed, believe that we are founded but giving ourselves up to be unfounded. We have political parties. Never mind the names right, left, they are not the public’s parties. This is not only for us, it is also in USA and England inside their conditions. It is worse than us in the Mexico and Indonesia. It is at a point that the production is not related to exploitation of human beings. Because the salary of 2500 Indonesian women who produce 65.000.000 nike slides in 2-5 years is equal to the payment of the Michael Jordan for using his name for an advertisement. To replace that brend in our brains, make our children want Jordan instead of another pair at the same quality costed use 2.5 times more on the day we made that research. So production, value quality is nothing, to purchase our brains with marketing, it is a funny effect on human is a funny effect on human labour to make us foreigners human’s values is so far away. Now people need to fill in this foundation which they believe it is there and filled in and move.
There are many ministers and prime ministers who violate the constitution continuously in the world. Not only in Turkey all undeveloped countries live in that picture. Also developed countries have that picture. They only respect the rules of the game a bit stronger. A struggle is needed to reconstruct this game and we shouldn’t believe the game is not related to us.
We have to disturb this game. We must build the relation between bread of our society and MAI.
Finally I would like to narrate a memory about the past of the Mine workers Union under the roof of United Metal Workers Union.. The deceased Mr Orhan Apaydyn (The previous president of Ystanbul Body of lawyers) came to journal office and told me that the importance of DGM subject and the confederation members do not know how serious it is. If they learn, public will also know. And he asked from me to be a mediator. We organised a meeting at the journal office. The deceased Mr. Kemal Türkler also came in meeting of DGM was made. Surely I don’t know if it was good or bad but the employees learnt what DGM means for them. They struggled against DGM during that period. Even they believed they founded DGM and took the next step forward to MESS. But they couldn’t pound MESS they were pounded.(DGM : State Security Courts- military courts)(MESS : Employers’ Association in Turkey)
The event is about to learn the place of something in our life. When we learned and announced that there is a high level radiation in our teas after the Chernobil disaster, The President of Turkey Mr.Kenan Evren and Prime Minister Mr.Özal drank their teas in front of the eyes of public to convince people that radiation is not a harmful substance. Before they did that we were keeping this very secret. Because it would be on newspaper. One of compositor friends came, said very impetuously “you did very good you said my nut product is radiationed before also, I couldn’t sell them, they were in my hand. But we are eating with my children to show you” answered. And I told him “god punishes you, eat how much ever you want but do not let your children eat “After that we decided not to let drink radiotined tea in our newspaper building. All our progressive friends authors walked with charts written “we are limiting our drinking tea freedom”. They are drinking teas in the neighbour coffee shops. Now before we see the risk in our lifes after we realise the radiotion but not understand, they will poison us much longer more. They take us much more back. . There is no end to go back forward.
In order to see better what will be the benefits and the damages of MAI or this kind of agreements to people, we had better to take a look at Asian Crisis to the economic situation of Asia before the crisis, and to analyse the phenomenon of Asian Miracle. Was it really a crisis which has damaged all parts of societies and which hadn’t been desired by anyone? Or was it 21st century version of capital wars?!
Since 1980’s, Asian capital has introduced a new and different production model. In this model thanks to cheap row materials and labour, costs were much lower than the occidental produce model. As a big part of world population is poor and has low incomes, these products became popular easily. Soon after trademarks “Kia” “Hyundai” and labels “Made in Tajwan” “Made in Korea” have been seen in all countries, besides the occidental trademarks and labels. And the occidental capitals market shares began to decrease rapidly. These products weren’t resistant, they were cheap and consumed in a short time and so the production needs for these products were continuous. All of this was sufficient for occidental capital to say “stop” at once to this trend.
The biggest support of Asian Capital was the exploitation of labour -which has been caused by the population explosion-with the help of totalitarian governments. But the exaggerated expatriation concluded normally with the uprising of S.Korean labour movement in the late 1996. Which was watched on the TV channels from all around the world. This uprising wasn’t limited with demonstrations of 100 thousand or 200 thousand people, millions of workers were walking everyday, besides all the world was watching this on the TVs, it was more dangerous. If all other Asian workers would take these demonstrations as an example and if all the workers on the world would rebel against the capital, what would happen then? This movement should have been finished at once.
The macro economic datas of Asian economies before the crisis were very interesting, because there were no any indicator light of a crisis: low inflation, sufficient foreign exchange reserves, and well balanced budgets. There were such a good atmosphere that all the economists, who says that the crisis had been seen before, were inviting all investors to Asia. There were only one thought that everybody agree: Asia had excessive stocks. But even this hadn’t been seen as crisis cause, moreover in researches it was seen as a happy sign that the Asian exportation would increase. (Research of International Metal Workers’ Federation)
Start of so called crisis, fast sales of American speculators and the new war weapon of multinational capital: FINANCIAL MARKETs.
To describe this situation as a “Crisis” would mean to hide all the reasons, processes and the results.
This process could be stopped with a war. But it was dangerous to fight against the most crowded continent of the world, besides the war would be cursed by the public opinion. Instead of the war Transnational capital had an other gun named as Financial Markets. Responsibles would be never seen, influence zone would be bigger, no investment ........ no risk.
By the nature of capitalistic system, the capital growing rapidly faced the danger to loose it’s value, and all of this became the most important reason of the increase of these markets in 1980’s.
Of course, the truth could not be told to people instead they used misleading expressions like “expanding capital tthrough the rank and file ”, “financing real economies”
But any of these expressions hasn’t become true.
In 1982-1996, net capital income of the 500 biggest companies in Turkey increased %275 and their net balance sheet profits increased %516.
When we look at the multinational companies the scene is horrifying.
Total amount of the liquid assets of the biggest 10 companies of the world is 4.8 trillion dollars, this amount is nearly as big as the volume of the global derivative markets (operations which aim to hedge the risk of financial instruments). Total market share of 4 of them is equal to %40 of the worlds market volume.
When we look at the production, we see that the 200 multinational companies total sales are equal to %25 of the global production. In Istanbul stock market, we know that the capitalization values of companies don’t increase depending on the economic data or to the developments in companies, only the speculation is dominant.
Then, who are the speculators? They are the most power full capital in the stock market and they are the ones who can define the markets destination. At this point you can not seperate finance capital from production capital ,because these two concepts becomes one within other and the capital coming into stock markets is the part which is being left over from the production income.
During the crisis in stock markets do not everybody looses. There are ones who gain and ones who loose.
Speculative crisis increase the income of the dominant capital in the stock market. Because the crisis are made frequently by this dominant and speculative capital.
Roger Altman ex-states treasurer, said after the Asian crisis that
“Asian crisis shows that the global finance makets have become a new transnational state and nobody has elected them”.
Let’s come back to Asian crisis.
After defining the gun, international capital begun to invest in large numbers in regions stock markets. These stocks markets were so little that it was easy to control them, and so in a short time these stocks markets showed a big performance?! But essentially, these speculators were trying to convince small investors from cortinent and from all over the world to invest in these stock markets. The plans had been worked and the Asian Miracle become true. Financial Capital from all over the world was flowing to Asia, there were incredible index and volume increases, there were an explosion.
After that, the game began with the rules of international capital including secrecy , to use a lot of mediator companies to hide the tracks which can be clue for other small investors and to use media as a tool to spread speculative informations to mislead other investors .
We, had learned that American speculators had left the Asian markets just before the crisis and had gone to their safe homeland, to Wall Street stock exclange.
They had controlled the markets when the stock values were cheapest, they had convinced the little investors and had sold all their stocks when the index was at maximum. It’s a hard work for multinational capital that’s why they become tired. They had need relaxing , of course in USA.
RESULTS OF THE CRISIS:
Asian Banking system has been collapsed and regions economies become slaves of IMF and World Bank.
World Bank’s and IMF’s formulas has established on to force the governments to open totaly their financal markets doors to foreign investors. USA’s Trade deficit with Japon may decrease even become positive because of these “formulas” .
Regions production has decreased, SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises have been broken down and the big ones have had big harms. Asian investors have decided to slow down or to stop their investments in foreign countries.
Some of the still-living regions companies maybe privatized American investors are waiting so that the fees become lower.
In the region, totalitarian political structures attacked the workers movement, because of so called crisis, and wanted the trade unions to stay calm against the dismissals and against the new law arrangements which facilitate these dismissals.
As the investors come back to their safe homeland, to the USA, the liquid asset problem of USA’s financial markets has been resolved.
Like in all fast development processes, as the unemployment was decreasing and as there were a full employment trend , salaries had begun to loose their cheapness before the crisis although they were still very cheap comparing with the wages in west world. Thanks to crisis, the danger of the full employment has been come over and the workers have become poor, unemployed and hungry and labour cost has been cheap again.
Is it possible to say that it’s a crisis when we look at these results?
And the factors, with which countries defend themselves against the economic crisis are being destroyed by the multinational capital.
A new treaty has been signed in December 1997 in WTO. According to this treaty the member countries will abolish all the barriers and limits against the expansion of international Banking and insurance Markets. That means that the most power full gun of the multinational capital will be expanded to all the world.
And now we have got a new treaty that waits his turn ... MAI. Multilateral Agreement of Investment. Another deregulation agreement ...
At the first sight, this agreement will be between national states and multinational capital, but who are the real parties of MAI?
Who are the real sides of MAI which seems like only between Governments and multinational companies?
The point of view which says that the capital is one of the production factors because it’s under taking risk has been breaking down with MAI.
Who will under take this risk?
At first you can say that national governments will take this risk. But when you remind the South Korean example where the bill of IMF, 20 billion dollars has been paying by trade unions, by the workers; and bearing in mind that Indonesian people too is paying this bill and that who suffered most in 1994 Turkey’s economic crisis, the parties of this agreement will be seen obviously.
With MAI, national governments will be in a fear that if they get cross with TNCs on if they have to pay compensation to TNCs . It’s therefore social dimension will be left completely .
Privatization will go on more rapidly, unemployment and anti-trade unionism will increase.
Competition will destroy small and medium sized companies, prices will not decrease as thought but the trade unions will be isolates and the social rights will be damaged. (As in the Customs Union process.)
With this agreement sovereignty and independence will be finished against national governments and in the favour of multinational capital. Social issues like culture and art will be mutated and workers of these institutions will be unemployed like the others.
Even some state notifications, made for public health (ex: smoking damages the health) will be abolished, thank to “ban of nationalisation? Because they are raising sales difficulties to the foreign capital.
In the MAI report of OECD’s “Trade Unions Advisory Committee”, it’s written that a new article which will say that the damages caused by strikes won’t be subject of indemnities should be added to the agreement.
Yes, the situation is see horrify.
May be, instead of telling al of these dangers we had better to remind the worst article of agreement.
Member countries wont be able to take back their signs min. 5 years and even after leaving the agreement they will be have to give total validity to the agreement for 15 years.
If this agreement was for the benefit of all parties, they wouldn’t have to put on article like this.
Thanks for your patient and listening .
Designed by United Metalworkers' Union