Cooling push risks freezing: Business body
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
A Turkish aid ship enters a Somali port in this file photo. Meral (inset) says businessmen should also focus on the continent. Hürriyet photo
Slowing Turkey’s economy down further could result in it freezing, according to the president of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).
“It’s very difficult to thaw a frozen economy,” Rızanur Meral recently told Anatolia news agency.
Meral said the government’s efforts to slow the economy had been fruitful but that there was no longer any need to cool it down.
“On the contrary, we need right now to loosen the belts a bit and the business world needs to have more comfortable access to liquidity,” he said That’s why I think that the economic management needs to be a bit more tolerant.”
According to Meral, the government’s new law regarding bad checks is one of the biggest obstacles facing the 4 percent growth target and the 3.2 percent growth figure for the first quarter of 2012. Doing away with prison time for writing bad checks has led to a slowdown in growth, he said, adding that the retail sector had only reached a measly 0.9 percent.
If Turkey wants to reach its 2023 export targets, it needs to foster more exporters and increase its international recognition, the TUSKON head said.
“We’ve also begun using the term businesspeople instead of businessmen because we realized we are being unfair to women,” Meral said. “Every year the number of female entrepreneurs in Turkey goes up. On our board alone there are eight women managers this year.”
Focus on African Investment, trade
MUŞ – Anatolia News Agency
“We do not just want to increase trade with Africa, but also boost investments,” said Meral, noting that African businessmen, especially those from Benin, did not come to Turkey as Turkey did not have an embassy in every African country. He said that Turkey has 29 embassies on the African continent, but needed to increase this number to 40 and that Turkish businessmen do not currently know how to penetrate the African market.
“There is a huge investment potential there. Africa is a virgin market for production. Those who begin producing there will be successful. Once there is production there, foreign firms coming from abroad will have a tougher time competing. That’s why we as Turks want to both show our difference by bringing Africa our technology and employment and by encouraging Turkish investors to invest on the continent,” Meral said.