2015 was marked by global uncertainties, faltering economic recovery and, particularly in the regions where we do business, social, economic and political upheavals. This made us sharply aware of the modern world's fluctuating conditions and the urgency of reviewing company business models and organization.
The world is undergoing a radical paradigm shift and entirely new megatrends are emerging. The reality of digitalization and the Internet of Things is completely transforming humanity.
Rapid and unrelenting population growth and urbanization is eradicating certain occupations and business areas that we have known for centuries as well as giving rise of new ones. The Z-Generation, which will be entering the labour force shortly, will lead a different life and have very different needs and preferences.
New realities face humanity. The global targets adopted at the Paris COP21 are an acknowledgment that we live in a new age where heightened awareness of environmental concerns, and not only economic conditions, shape business practices. To create a new future, we must abandon old habits, learn to think outside the box, and work together to achieve common goals. Business models are being redefined at the global level under the principle of sustainability and companies are searching for ways of adapting to this new order.
Tekfen is a natural part of this transformation. While celebrating our 60th anniversary, we are announcing the start of a new leap forward. One of our most important priorities while planning our future is change management.
Since its founding, Tekfen Group has stuck to the principles of "doing the job you know in the best way" and of consistent growth. Thus, the group has concentrated on its key operational areas of Contracting, AgriIndustry and Real Estate.
We have made a strategic decision to diversify our business areas and expand current ones at a time when the "new normal" is being defined, given the rapid changes in global conditions. While not losing sight of the enthusiasm and energy of our founding partners 60 years ago, we plan on concentrating more than ever on the profit-based model of growth. We intend to do this by undertaking initiatives and innovations with greater zest.
While managing this change, our corporate values shall remain our greatest strength. However, we shall review any habits that inhibit change and progress within our corporate culture and thereby increase our corporate agility.
Similarly, while addressing these goals, we shall supplement our existing competent, high quality human resources and corporate intellectual capital with an infusion of new blood to our organization, thus further strengthening our organizational structure. Concomitantly, we shall adopt a management approach that creates an environment conducive to maximizing the productivity and performance of our employees and rewarding improved performance appropriately. I firmly believe that, if attain all this, Tekfen Group of Companies will be the corporate structure with the happiest employees.
Among the goals we have set for Tekfen Contracting Group, a respected name worldwide, is to restructure and develop growth models for our engineering infrastructure to enhance the efficacy of our EPC (engineering-procurement-construction) know-how. This will enable us to offer turn-key solutions to even more complex industrial projects. While we plan to expand our operations from Africa to the Caspian and the Mediterranean to the Far East, we closely monitor the domestic market as the Turkish economy exhibits average annual growth of 3 to 4% in the face of global stagnation. Given these conditions and the needs of the new period, in addition to current business plans, we shall look for entirely new areas in which to invest, such as the "smart" city infrastructure required by rapid urbanization.
Toros Tarım, with its in-depth understanding of Turkish agriculture, is positioned to take advantage of agricultural production opportunities by drawing on its market strength. Through its initiatives, which are pioneering examples of good agricultural practice in Turkey that emphasize disease-free inputs and high productivity, it commands the helm of a business area that promises to continue to add value to our assets.
Tekfen Real Estate Group has taken sure steps and grown over the years. It has proven itself through unique, high-quality projects. Using our existing land stock to the optimum and executing larger-scale projects are priorities in Tekfen's future plans.
The same is true for our lucrative terminal services. Ideally located in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, our terminals have great potential, which we plan to tap through investments in expansion.
Eco-economics is an area Tekfen Group has its sights on. We would like to invest and expand in such areas that are beneficial to the environment and the farmer, such as groundwater utilization, recycling, geothermal resources and solar energy. Our interest is not only commercial, but also for our common future. Marking the words of our Honorary Founding Chairman, Nihat Gökyiğit, "If we seek perfection, we should look to nature," Tekfen Group believes that taking a place among those building a sustainable future is meaningful and valuable.
Tekfen Group was founded 60 years ago upon unwavering ethical values by three esteemed men: Feyyaz Berker, Nihat Gökyiğit and the late Necati Akçağlılar. Protecting and sustaining these values is Tekfen Group's foremost priority, governing all our other plans and priorities.
The most important asset I became responsible for when I took over as Chairman of the Board on 7 May 2015 was Tekfen's reputation. Of all the responsibilities I have assumed, my chief priority is to protect and sustain the ethical values that have made Tekfen Tekfen.
As we carry Tekfen forward in keeping with its goals and principles, I extend my appreciation and regards to our companies and the great Tekfen family, and to all our stakeholders, who support our efforts.
Chairman of the Board and CEO