Turkish businesses eye strong economy post referendum
It is now time to make progress by preserving freedoms, pluralism and solidarity: Turkey's largest business association
News Service17 APRIL 2017, 03:49AA
Turkish business associations have called for structural reforms and a shot in the arm to production, employment and trade opportunities following the Yes victory in Sunday's referendum.
In a statement Monday, Turkish Industry and Business Association -- Turkey's largest business group -- called for solidarity for making Turkey stronger and to look towards the future without delay regardless of the outcome of the vote.
"It is now time to make progress by preserving freedoms, pluralism and solidarity. We urge the government and the parliament to prioritize the reform agenda that is before our country," the statement said.
The association said Turkey’s strong macroeconomic balance, dynamic population and young workforce provides great opportunity despite serious risks due to uncertainty in the global economy.
"Economic growth can be achieved by reforms that increase productivity as opposed to policies that boost demand," it said.
The association said they strongly support measures to reduce the inflation rate to below 5 percent in order to reach macroeconomic stability in the short term.
The implementation of structural reforms such as preservation of the independence of supervisory and regulatory agencies, improvement of capital markets and alternative means of financing, support for small-and-medium-sized enterprises, modernizing the industrial strategy, reducing tax and premium burdens on employment to average levels of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and improving labor market flexibility has critical importance, it said.
Nail Olpak, chairman of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, also said the Turkish nation said Yes on Sunday for the sake of stability and safety.
Economy continues to be one of the most important agendas, Olpak said.
"We will put more focus on our work as of today. Our primary focus is maintaining production and getting stronger," he added.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, president of Turkish Exporters Assembly, described Sunday as a day of change for Turkey.
"I hope bureaucratic obstacles will reduce, decision making process will speed up and problems faced in implementation will decrease with the presidential system," Buyukeksi said.
He said investments will accelerate with the stability and trust provided by the new system.
- ‘No more uncertainty’
Omer Cihad Vardan, president of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said Turkey’s coalition governments of the past had lacked a mechanism for quick decisions and there was also disruption due to red tape.
"As of now, our country has become free from these problems and is ready to build the infrastructure to reach Turkey's goal of 2023, 2053 and 2071 under the leadership of our president.
“Now that uncertainty has been removed, the economy will be at the top of our agenda and reforms will be accelerated. As part of the business world, we will try to contribute to our country's mission and continue to serve our country," Vardan said.
Ahmet Erdem, chairman of the International Investors Association of Turkey, said the main expectation after the referendum result is the strengthening of democracy along with all its institutions, further integration with the developed world and continued reforms that will boost the investment environment in accordance with global values.
"Turkey is an economy that has a high-growth potential and provides attractive opportunities to investors. After the referendum, giving priority to economy again is important for maintaining the flow of foreign direct investment to Turkey's development process," Erden said.
Ali Kopuz, chairman of the Istanbul Commodity Exchange, said the presidential system will galvanize and encourage the country's production.
The business world will increase investments as confidence in Turkey rises and concern about the future disappears, Kopuz said.
Ibrahim Caglar, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, said there is now an opportunity to start work on pending reforms.
"Both domestic and international investors are able to breathe easily again. Investors do not want a source of political uncertainties. Investors want Turkey to focus on expected reforms," Caglar said.
Erdal Bahcivan, president of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, said they wish for a period when the economy remains the main topic and structural reforms get implemented.
Ismail Gulle, chairman of the Istanbul Textile and Raw Materials Exporters Association, called for reaching the goal of making the Turkish economy among the top 10 in the world.
"We believe that presidential system will rapidly take steps to maximize business circles’ contribution towards this aim. Business world will produce, employ, invest and export more with enthusiasm during this new period," Gulle added.
Erkan Gural, chairman of the Young Businessmen Confederation of Turkey, said Turkey had voted for strong economic stability.
Turkey will experience economic, social and political breakthroughs in the new period, Gural added.
The poll resulted in a 51.41 percent victory for the Yes campaign on Sunday, heralding the adoption of an 18-article bill that includes provisions for an executive presidency.
As of 10.50 a.m. local time (0750GMT), unofficial results showed 25,156,860 voted Yes while 23,777,014, or 48.59 percent, voted No. The turnout was 85.46 percent.