Turkish business body TÜSİAD elects new president

Turkish business body TÜSİAD elects new president

Turkish business body TÜSİAD elects new president

Simone Kaslowski was elected as the president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) on Feb. 20.

“A challenging but exciting era is ahead of us,” Kaslowski told the 49th general assembly of the association.

Turkey needs to strengthen its growth model to reach its targets, the newly-elected head said.

“Lucky us, our country has great opportunities in terms of human and sources of innovative ideas, the main drivers of the era. We will write quite a new Turkish story with effort, stability, and success,” he underlined.

Erol Bilecik, the TÜSİAD head preceding Kaslowski, said Turkey will preserve its position as a powerful country, benefitting its geographical location.

Kaslowski, 56, is the CEO of Organik Kimya, a company manufacturing chemicals, which is active in 80 countries.

He has been the deputy president of TÜSİAD since 2017.

Speaking at the general assembly, Tuncay Özilhan, the head of TÜSİAD’s high advisory council, said that structural problems could not be resolved with short-term remedies.

“Production and sales are declining while unemployment is on the rise. Despite the partial improvement, the underlying reasons that create economic vulnerabilities remain,” Özilhan added.

He warned that if the real sector’s financing problems are not resolved, those troubles could spill into the banking and finance industries.

“Debt restructuring and declarations of concordat are the manifestation of serious problems. The problems would only deepen and reemerge if they are not addressed by structural measures,” Özilhan said.

In a report released on Feb. 20, TÜSİAD forecast that the Turkish economy will grow by 1 percent this year while its inflation estimate for 2019 is 16.2 percent.

The association expects the current account deficit to ease to 2.5 percent of the GDP this year from 3 percent in 2018. However, it anticipates that the unemployment rate will rise to 12.5 percent in 2019.

TÜSIAD, founded in 1971, is a voluntary, independent non-governmental organization, which represents 85 percent of Turkey’s total foreign trade and 50 percent of the value-added production.