'Cementing economic recovery first priority for Turkey,' says TÜSİAD chair
Making Turkey's economic recovery permanent is the country's top short term priority, the head of a Turkish business body said on Dec. 4.
Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) head Simone Kaslowski told an advisory meeting in the capital Ankara that in order to achieve this, new "exciting" goals that "mobilize" society would be required.
"Our calculations show that a growth rate of less than 5 percent may further increase unemployment. Thus, the return to growth is very critical," said Kaslowski, underlining that all major economies were in preparation for the 2020's.
Adding that these preparations were ongoing in their environmental as well as social and political dimensions, Kaslowski stressed the danger for humanity of failing to deal with climate change.
He highlighted that TÜSİAD is making serious efforts on this issue, saying that Turkey should strengthen its resolve in its fight against global climate change.
Arguing that globalization was currently in flux, Kaslowski said the world was entering a period where non-tariff protection trends, shaped around regional groupings, would strengthen.
"In order to cope with these, we need to bring our relations with the EU to a better and stronger level and depth. We have to try to settle our mutual complaints through negotiations," he noted.
Pointing out that Europe was acting more independently in its foreign policy, he said the bloc would redefine its relationship with both the U.S. and Russia.
"Europe is trying to restructure itself," he said, adding that steps taken towards expanding fundamental rights, the rule of law and individual liberties would be the main elements that would bring Turkey and Europe closer together.
For his part, Tuncay Özilhan, the president of the TÜSİAD High Advisory Council, said the era of high exchange rate volatility was over.
He added that many international institutions had raised growth forecasts for Turkey, noting that unusual activity continued in the world despite the relatively calm in Turkey.
Expressing worry of the high level of unemployment in the Turkish economy, he said: "It is not enough to wait for the return of growth, additional measures may be necessary to solve this issue."
Özilhan added that with upheavals erupting around the world, street politics had become a decisive dynamic for the first time since the 1960s, overshadowing parliamentary politics.
He underlined that the world was currently faced with multiple crises, adding: "We [Turkey] have to use this time well. The first thing we need to do against external threats is to strengthen our internal structure and increase our ability to adapt to changing conditions."
TÜSİAD, established in 1971, represents around 4,500 companies with nearly 700 members.