Attracting high value-added investments alone with labor cost advantage is impossible: Omer Koc

Digitalization is the most important factor for global economic growth and digital competition increasingly continues among the countries, according to Omer M. Koc, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Koc Holding. 

Speaking at the 2nd Digital Turkey Conference, which was hosted by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) on January 13, Omer M. Koc said those who missed out on critical transformations in the past realized that they can move forward and make a difference in this process at a lower cost. “We see the most tangible reflection of the digital transformation of developing countries, including Turkey, with Industry 4.0 dynamics. Attracting high value-added foreign investments with a low labor cost advantage is impossible in this period when the West is reclaiming industrial production by providing productivity increase with digital technologies,” Koc noted.

Researchers say there will be a shortage of 84 million qualified human resources (HR) around the world by 2030, while the European Union (EU) plans to employ 20 million information and communication technologies (ICT) specialists as part of its 2030 objectives. “This figure currently hovers around 8 million,” Koc says, stressing the need to focus on qualified HR in countries such as Turkey to achieve this goal. 

The solution is hidden in Ataturk’s path

Strategy papers prepared by the public administration after discussing with business organizations and other stakeholders include valuable findings and goals, according to Koc. He emphasized qualified HR as a fundamental need in order to achieve these goals and pointed out accelerating brain drain in recent years. “Our bright youth who are educated by Turkey’s constricted opportunities increasingly strive to seek their future abroad instead of transferring their gains to our country. This upsets and worries me,” Doc said, “At this point, it is necessary to understand them and reconsider why they choose this path, remembering Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s quote, ‘All my hope is in the youth.’ I think that the solution is hidden in the contemporary civilization path drawn by Ataturk.”

Green transformation is among the top dynamics for Turkey’s future

The green transformation process, which has been gradually shaped by international commitments, is one of the most important dynamics for the future of Turkey, according to Omer M. Koc. He said digital and green transformation aren’t independent of each other and that the important part of innovation to enable green transformation relies on digital technology. Koc also underlined that these processes should be thought of as two streams that trigger and accelerate each other. “The EU, the largest trading partner of Turkey, is building its new growth strategy on these dynamics, calling it ‘twin transformation’. We carefully follow the Green Deal agenda conducted by Brussels, which will determine our competitiveness,” Koc noted. 

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