Stability and trust underlined at TUSIAD assembly


Turkish Industrialists and Business People Association (TUSIAD), which will mark its 50th year in April, held its Ordinary General Assembly today. The message of the biggest business association was clear: stability and trust. TUSIAD Chairman Simon Kaslowski and TUSIAD High Advisory Council Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan drew attention to the recent economic developments and criticized them in their speeches. 

Speaking at the online event Kaslowski defined the current economic environment as “increasing inflationary pressure with the exceptional growth due to the credit expansion and both the interest rate and the exchange rate were high.”

“We will continue to emphasize the importance of issues such as transparency, accountability, institutional autonomy, consultation, pluralism, and the search for consensus. Stability is the precondition for development. In the last 2.5 years, the head of Turkish Statistical Institute was changed four times and the head of the Central Bant for three times.”

Kaslowski: We must regain trust in TL

The market economy can work better in such task changes, only when transparency and accountability are taken into account, Kaslowski said, “The weakness of the TL will leave us vulnerable to external shocks. We must restore trust in TL, otherwise it is not possible to solve fundamental problems such as extreme unemployment, reduction in purchasing power, financing of growth. Unemployment threatens society terrifyingly; Our reserves have decreased. We believe that it is necessary to deal with food inflation specifically and to prepare a program that will permanently solve the problems in the agricultural sector.”

“Istanbul Convention should be reevaluated”

Referring to the Istanbul Convention in his speech, Kaslowski continued: “Especially in the 21st century world, the realization of women’s rights and protection from violence is a priority. Equal treatment of women in business and indeed in all spheres of life is above all a matter of human rights and one of the factors affecting the economic attractiveness of a country. Therefore, as we pointed out in our previous press release, I want to repeat that the decision must be corrected on the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, which was signed by all the countries within Council of Europe, which was leaded by Turkey and takes its name from Istanbul, the pearl of the world.” 

Ozilhan: How to make a decision where there is dust and smoke

Tuncay Ozilhan, Chairman of the High Advisory Council of TUSİAD, stated that it is not easy to understand the unexpected developments in recent months. “How to take a decision in cases where there is dust and smoke and the limits of authority and responsibilities are blurred? How will we make our plans if we don’t have an answer on where we’re going? How to know what will happen tomorrow without the assumption that institutional structures will work as predicted? f the rules that have been announced can change tomorrow, how will the decisions regarding tomorrow will be taken,” he asked. 

Ozilhan said that the internal and ‘external forces’ problem, current account deficit and financing problems still continue as in the 1970s. “There is a serious parallelism between today and 1970s. The economic difficulties caused by the pandemic add to the already existing structural difficulties; instability on one side of the road, economic contraction unemployment and livelihood difficulties on the other. We, as the country, are all in the same car. As we fight among ourselves, everyone loses, we have to be unifying. The way to maintain stability is to put a clear, predictable and trustworthy road map instead of sharp maneuvering. “

“Selling foreign currency from reserves works for a short time”

Ozilhan emphasized that all the reforms discussed in the last reform package are sound, but the reforms contain long and tedious processes. “They require persistent implementation and follow-up; therefore, reform processes are sensitive to changes in politics and bureaucracy,” he added. Speaking about high interest rates, he said it is the result of the savings gap. “If we do not increase savings, establish trust in TL and attract long-term foreign funds, no interest rate cut will be permanent. Long-term investment decisions cannot be taken when investor trust cannot be established. The investor wants trust, he wants rules that don’t change frequently.” 

If one of the reasons for the depreciation of the TL is the low capacity to generate foreign currency income, the other reason is the uncertainty and insecurity regarding the future, he noted. “When the problem gets worse, trying to protect the value of the TL by selling foreign currency from the reserves only works for a short time. In order for the problem not to recur all the time, the economic structure should be transformed, foreign currency revenues should be increased and the economy management should provide confidence. It is proven by experience that price controls are not enough to combat the price increase.”

“The reforms could not get closer to the desired place”

Ozilhan expressed that another problem that could not be solved despite the reform programs and incentives is high unemployment. “If we cannot transform the production structure, our place in the global economy will decline. Decisions that are taken without thinking twice and getting the opinions of all relevant parties, and rushed, are changed very quickly. This creates distrust and narrows the horizon of foresight. Judicial reforms, as well as economic reforms, are good, but the judicial reforms announced so far have not been able to bring us closer to the desired standards of rule of law and democracy.” 

In the election held at the General Assembly, Tuncay Ozilhan was re-elected President of High Advisory Board, while Omer Koç became the Vice President. On the other hand, in the General Assembly of TUSIAD, Chairman Simone Kaslowski and his list stated that they could be listed for management for one year. Following the acceptance of this first-time request, elections were held to determine the TUSİAD administration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.