Stiff breezes blowing from Europe could affect Turkey

Stiff breezes blowing from Europe could affect Turkey

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Stiff breezes blowing from Europe could affect Turkey

Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek (2nd R) and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan (3nd R) attend the DEİK General Assembly in Istanbul yesterday.

Lack of consumer confidence and increasing concern over Europe might affect the Turkish economy, which has grown rapidly over the last years, said Turkey’s Finance Minister. Yesterday he called for businessmen to instead focus on “long ignored” Asian markets.

“Stiff breezes blowing from Europe might affect Turkey in the coming year,” said Mehmet Simsek the Turkish Finance Minister, speaking at the General Assembly of the Foreign Economic Board of Turkey (DEIK) in Istanbul. Addressing investors, the minister said, “Do not stop your investments just because the crisis will deepen next year.” By controlling its current account deficit and credit growth “Turkey could achieve the soft landing,” he said. Due to increasing risks in European markets, Turkish businessmen should start trading with long ignored Asian markets, Simsek said.

“It is highly likely the crisis in Europe will show its effects on the country,” said Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, addressing participants at the meeting. Turkey still makes nearly 46 percent of its exports to European countries he said, also noting that almost 60 percent of the foreign tourists who annually visit Turkey are from Europe.

A lack of consumer confidence in the European market might show its effect on the investment side in Turkey, he added, with nearly 70 percent of the foreign direct investment in rapidly growing Turkey comes from European investors. Hisarcikloglu said European credits would most likely use the capital shortfall for funding, which has peaked at 106 billion euros in European banks. According to the chairman, Turkey should plug into Asian economies such as the Chinese, African and South American economies as soon as possible.

“French President Nicholas Sarkozy is trying to make up for losses for the bonds it had acquired from bankrupt Greece by changing the agenda of France,” Zafer Çaglayan, Turkey Economy Minister, speaking about the bill punishing the denial of “Armenian Genocide” approved by French Parliament last week.