Turkey needs to stick to EU process, reform agenda: Top bosses
ISTANBULTurkey should stick to its European Union process in economic, security and democratization terms, the head of the country’s top business organization has said, while also reiterating the organization’s call for the launch of a comprehensive structural reform package.
“Turkey has started to see a key improvement in its economic indicators after a tough year. A rebound in economic growth in the EU has pushed up demand for Turkey’s exports. Finally we have started to witness the positive contribution of exports, which is mainly fueled by a rising demand from the EU,” said Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) President Erol Bilecik at a meeting jointly held by the association and the World Bank’s Turkey office.
He noted that the EU, which is Turkey’s largest market, is of great significance for the country in terms of democratic values, economic ties and security dimensions.
“We need to maintain our dialogue and cooperation with our international allies in line with our national interests, even if we do not always agree in everything. Some recent tensions may have even put some strain on our economic relations. The maintenance of our EU perspective and the strengthening our economic ties through a planned revision in our Customs Union deal will be of one of the most crucial issues for Turkey,” Bilecik said in the meeting of the launch of the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects Report June 2017 report.
He said Turkey needs to launch a comprehensive reform package, which mainly covers three main areas.
These three areas cover reforms for the maintenance of democratization, freedoms and the rule of law, giving a boost to Turkey’s EU process, the customs union modernization and the focus on digital transformation and high technologies, he reiterated.
“We cannot regress in our democratic acquisitions, namely in freedoms and the rule of law. This possibility would hit our economic gains. Any economic gain cannot be sustainable without democratic progress,” he said.
For a sustainable high growth, Turkey’s EU process and the customs union modernization is quite a key for both Turkey’s ties with the external world and its democratic perception as well as its commercial interests, Bilecik noted.
He also added that Turkey needs to reconsider its educational, labor and industrial transformation plans in accordance with what the digital world requires and to implement these plans immediately.
Meanwhile, the World Bank raised Turkey’s economic growth projections for the next three years as uncertainties ease, tourism recovers and corporate balance sheets mend under the less severe impacts of the July 2016 coup attempt than previously estimated, according to its Global Economic Prospects report.
Turkey’s economy is now expected to expand 3.5 percent in 2017, up from an estimate of 3 percent in January.