Ministers challenge int’l bodies on growth

Ministers challenge int’l bodies on growth

Ministers challenge int’l bodies on growth

Şimşek (3rd L) and Zeybekçi (4th R) downplayed growth concerns.

The Turkish ministers in charge of economy have insisted growth will gain momentum in the second half with the help of better foreign trade, snubbing international organizations for trimming year-end growth forecasts.

“You will see Turkey’s economy this year and all those trimmed-down growth forecasts will be re-revised upwards after June,” Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said at the Turkish Investment Summit held in Istanbul on May 20.

Leading global financial institutions World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have cut their estimations for Turkey’s year-end growth to a band ranging between 2 to 3 percent in the recent months, well below the government’s target of 4 percent.

Economists and leading international organizations have been warning Turkish economic growth could be hampered by lower investment and capital inflow as volatile currency rates, high interest rates, which have made borrowing costlier, and the political tension that rocked confidence in the country still remain in effect.

However, Zeybekçi posed a confident stance, saying economic growth will boost during the second half of the year, with strong export performances coming into play.

He said exports, which benefit from the weaker Turkish Lira, will undertake around 2.5 percent of this year’s growth.

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, who also delivered a speech at the event, also downplayed the risks to growth, focusing on the better-than-expected foreign demand.

He said the government does not think Turkey has embarked on a slow growth period, betting on the competition advantage in the foreign trade brought by the lower lira.