Turkish business leaders urge robust reform agenda to maintain economic confidence

Turkish business leaders urge robust reform agenda to maintain economic confidence

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkish business leaders urge robust reform agenda to maintain economic confidence

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A number of business leaders underlined the importance of a well-functioning judicial system and urged for a robust reform agenda to maintain confidence in Turkey’s economy, during a conference in Istanbul on Nov. 21. 

“Whenever people have confidence in others and in institutions, economic activities run much better and fairer. As long as such confidence is not established, economic growth or stability cannot be sustainable,” said Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, speaking at the Judicial System and Business World Symposium. 

Hisarcıklıoğlu said the private sector plays crucial role in ensuring economic development and wealth, while building a “fair playing field” is the key to enabling the private sector to become more competitive in global markets.

“We need to offer a healthier business and investment climate. Here, a well-functioning judicial system is of great significance,” he stressed. 

“Our biggest wish is to see the functioning of the rule of law as best as possible. This will enable the feeling of confidence to spread across society. If people have confidence in each other and institutions, economic activities will be run in a better and fairer manner,” the TOBB head stated. 

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that strengthening Turkey’s judicial system was a must for Turkey to become a high-income country. He said Turkey’s private sector supported any regulations that will strengthen the judicial system, improve its physical capacities, and enhance the employee benefits of all judicial members. 

He also touched on inefficiencies in the justice system, noting that courts faced a rising workload every day. A commercial trial lasts 311 days on average, a business trial lasts 381 days, and an intellectual and industrial rights trial lasts 425 days, he said. 

Raising competitiveness means improving investment climate

Meanwhile, Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) head Cansen Başaran-Symes said Turkey had the capacity to distinguish itself in a positive manner, despite all negative conditions in the world economy, if it makes the required judicial reforms. 

Başaran-Symes emphasized that a stable and predictable judicial system is a must for the maintenance of a healthier investment climate.

“A country’s economic growth cannot be ensured without the maintenance of a democratic rule of law as well as political and economic stability,” she said.

Independent Industry and Business Association (MÜSİAD) head Nail Olpak agreed that Turkey needs a faster and fairer rule of law. 

“There are three parties here: The first are the individuals and the institutions that compose a society. The second element is the political authority that sets the rules. The third is the judicial system that functions within the framework of the first two. We must assess which party needs to do what,” Olpak said. 

He particularly gave the example of businesspeople facing multiple legal cases over just one export transaction, adding that such cases can sometimes last up to 80 years. 

Association of International Investors (YASED) head Ahmet Erdem also said the passing of a series of judicial reforms would play a crucial role in raising Turkey’s competitiveness. Erdem specifically underlined the importance of maintaining the independence of judges and prosecutors.