Turkey’s top bosses call for national solidarity, economic reforms in post-referendum era
ISTANBULTurkey’s top bosses have called for the restoration of national unity and the realization of key structural reforms in the post-referendum process.
In a statement, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), the largest business group in the country, called for national solidarity in a bid to make Turkey stronger and to look to the future without any delay, regardless of the outcome of the vote.
“Now it is time to make progress by maintaining freedoms, pluralism and solidarity. We urge the government and the parliament to prioritize the reform agenda,” read the TÜSİAD statement, stressing the importance of increasing the quality of democratic institutions, the economic structure and the ties with the European Union.
The association said Turkey’s strong macroeconomic balance, dynamic population and young workforce provides a great opportunity despite serious risks due to uncertainty in the global economy.
“Economic growth can only be achieved by reforms that increase productivity, rather than policies that boost demand,” it stated.
Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that Turkey had managed to increase its national income per capital to around $12,000 in the last decade from around $3,000 but stressed the immediate importance of a “common vision” to move forward in a rapidly changing world.
“We need to raise investor confidence for our country, to revive the reform process, and to show our new economic growth narrative, which will be the joint product of the whole country,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said.
Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) President Ömer Cihad Vardan also underlined the importance of reforms.
“As uncertainty has now been removed, the economy will be at the top of the country’s agenda and reforms will be accelerated,” Vardan said.
Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD) Chairman Nail Olpak also said the economy should be one of the most important items on the near-term agenda.
“We will put more focus on our work as of today. Our primary focus is to increase production and become stronger,” Olpak said.
He added that there are key agenda items that need to be realized in the upcoming period including a public staff reform, a new election law, and “most importantly,” EU harmonization laws.
Luring foreign investment
International Investors Association of Turkey (YASED) Chairman Ahmet Erdem 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, the main priority to be given to the economy will be of great importance in maintaining the flow of foreign direct investment to into Turkey again,” Erdem said.
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) President Mehmet Büyükekşi described April 16 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,” Büyükekşi said, claiming that investments will accelerate with “the stability and trust provided by the new system.”