Chamber praises Turkey’s private sector role in rapid growth

Chamber praises Turkey’s private sector role in rapid growth

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Chamber praises Turkey’s private sector role in rapid growth

Workers are seen at an assembly line at a rubber plant in Istanbul in this file photo. Turkish businesses keeps creating jobs despite global woes, Hisarcıklıoğlu says.

turkey’s private sector contributed vastly to the country’s impressive growth rate in 2011 by creating 1.3 million new jobs, the chairman of the Union of Chamber and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, said yesterday.

“Turkey’s economy grew 8.5 percent in 2011. One should not forget that this was achieved at a time when European economies were plunging into crisis one after another and the Middle East was in political turmoil,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said in a written statement. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said yesterday that the Turkish economy grew 8.5 percent in 2011 overall, and 5.2 percent in the last quarter of the year.

“While the foreign trade deficit was reducing growth by 3.1 percent in the first nine months of 2011, according to recent data, this effect accounted for only 1.4 percent less growth for the whole year.

Considering the record-breaking exports in the first quarter of 2012, we think foreign trade will contribute positively to growth in 2012,” Hisarcıklığolu added.

In the first quarter of the year, Turkish exports rose 10.5 percent to $34.7 billion compared with the first quarter of 2011, according to data revealed by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) over the weekend.

“Along with a growth rate admired by developed and developing countries, Turkey’s private sector continued to offer jobs. The number of people employed in the private sector increased by 1.3 million last year. Thus, the unemployment rate was pushed lower even than it had been in the pre-crisis era,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said.

Support for entrepreneurs

Meanwhile, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Chairperson Ümit Boyner said yesterday that the country needed to develop its innovation capacity to achieve sustainable growth.

“Access to finance for entrepreneurs and small and medium business making use of technology and innovation should be developed,” she said at an Istanbul meeting in which the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Universities and Science David Willets also participated.

Willets said that the U.K. Consulate was working on reducing visa restrictions for Turkish academics who want to visit the U.K., and that Turkey has a very young population and it is imperative that this population be well educated. “Universities in the United Kingdom want to partner with Turkish universities at every level,” said Willets, admitting that visa issues are a problem for Turkish citizens wanting to visit the U.K.