Finance minister meets with business world
“We held a productive meeting today with our representatives from the business world, the real sector and [nongovernmental organizations] NGOs,” Nebati wrote on his Twitter account on Dec. 11 after the meeting.
“In the coming period, we will act with an understanding based on consultation, and we will continue to take the steps that will lead our country to success,” he added.
Attendees of the meeting included officials of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), Turkey’s Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association’s (MÜSİAD), the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO), the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (İSO) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).
Nebati informed the attendees of the government’s new economic model, according to media reports.
He also assured the business world that the government would continue to stick to free-market values and support businesses.
“It was a constructive meeting,” TOBB head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu told reporters after the meeting.
“The minister briefed us on the current outlook and the new economic program. A lot of issues including the raw material price hikes, payments to medical firms, claims of public contract holders and value-added tax returns were discussed,” he added.
DEİK head Nail Olpak said that businesspeople sought answers to allegations of possible capital restrictions.
“Maybe everything is not alright in our country, but production continues uninterruptedly and supply chains have never been broken. Exports are good, the banking system is fine. However, there’s a problematic picture inconsistent with all these in the foreign exchange market,” Olpak said.
“The business world doesn’t want to be bothered if the [dollar/lira] exchange rate plunges from around 13 to below nine or climbs up over 14. We have talked about issues like these, and we can see that it is not possible to change everything overnight but the brief message from the seven-hour meeting is that stepping back from the free-market [rules] and unintended interventions are out of the question,” he added.
More than 40 of about 60 participants asked questions in the meeting, MÜSİAD chair Mahmut Asmalı said.
Mehmet Ali Akben, the head of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), said that the minister is planning to meet with bank general managers and representatives of NGOs in the upcoming weeks.
The new economic model that Turkey is pursuing aims to grow the national economy by boosting investment, employment, production and exports, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Dec. 1.
Turkish exports reached an all-time high with $21.5 billion in November, up 33.4 percent year-on-year. Turkish exports hit $221 billion in the last 12 months, while the figure reached $203.1 billion in the first 11 months of this year.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit decreased by 13.6 percent in the January-November period compared to the same period last year and decreased to $39.2 billion despite a global increase in energy prices.
Erdoğan appointed Nebati, the deputy of the former minister Lütfi Elvan, as the new finance minister on Dec. 2.