Turkey to keep industry alive: Industry minister
The country fights the economic, social and psychological impacts of the novel coronavirus while trying to protect citizens' health, Mustafa Varank stressed in an online meeting of the Automotive Suppliers Association of Turkey.
On May 5, Varank announced that all automotive factories will reopen by May 11, while a large chunk of automotive factories has already restarted production and textile firms are back in operation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also said on May 4 the country will gradually normalize in the May-July period.
The recovery may take a short time or the world will continue to struggle with a years-long global crisis, Varank stressed.
He added: "Therefore, it is necessary to be ready for both scenarios, while minimizing risks, we should also consider possible opportunities."
Turkey has been facing economic impacts of the pandemic since April, he recalled.
He also said the automotive sector experienced significant losses up to 85% in several markets, such as the U.K., Germany, and Spain.
Referring to the country's measures to protect the employment and companies, Varank said the government pays personnel salaries, provides financing and postpones debts.
The state also gave 1,000 Turkish liras ($140) to 4.5 million needy citizens, he reminded.
The minister gave five pieces of advice to automotive industrialists, including protecting personnel health, being dynamic, supporting suppliers, raising indigenousness rate, and investing in digital technologies.
After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the U.S. are currently the worst-hit regions.