While the Russia-Ukraine war has continued for over a year, the West has given Moscow the high sign to increase sanctions further. The European Union (EU), which has started to hold under microscope exports from surrounding economies including Turkey to Russia, prepares to increase pressure, it has given the first signal by closing the Belarus border to non-EU trucks.
Turkey’s exports to Russia jumped 43% to USD 7.6bn in 2022. Russia, which was the seventh largest export partner of Turkey last year, rose to fifth place in January-February. The business world representatives told daily EKONOMI that increasing exports of Turkey to Russia draw attention and this may raise pressures.
Chamber of industries under the umbrella of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) convened under the presidency of TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu. As a result of the meeting which was hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO), the chamber of industries gathered the measures to recover and normalize the economies of the 11 quake-hit regions under five projects. The ‘Tedarikcim Deprem Bolgesinden’ (My Supplier from the Quake-Hit Region) project, kicked off by TOBB, aims to support the manufacturers in the disaster-hit provinces and encourages large-scale companies to supply their raw material and semi-finished products from the earthquake region.
On the foreign policy side, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara is working hard to extend an UN-backed initiative that has enabled Ukraine to export grain from ports blockaded by Russia following its invasion, according to Reuters. The Black Sea Grain Initiative brokered by the United Nations (UN) and Turkey last July allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports. The agreement was extended in November and will expire on March 18 unless an extension is agreed upon.
Regarding the economic data of the week, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) will release the Industrial Production Index, labor force statistics, and Construction Cost Index for January on Friday morning.
In terms of internal affairs, the final decision on the presidential candidacy in the Nation Alliance will be made at the meeting to be held today. As IYI Party Chairwoman Meral Aksener left the table on Friday, political traffic will be busy over the weekend. Under normal conditions, the Nation Alliance was expected to announce Kilicdaroglu as its presidential candidate today.
On Thursday, the Constitutional Court will examine the request for the annulment of the HDP’s precautionary blocking of the treasury aid account.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to decide to renew the elections on Friday. The decision will be published in the Official Gazette on the same day. With the finalization of the election date, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) will convene and start operating the election calendar for May 14.
This week, the law proposal on the establishment of the Disaster Reconstruction Fund, which the AK Party has been working on, will come to the agenda of the parliament. A fund will be established to provide the necessary resources for zoning, infrastructure, and superstructure works in areas damaged by natural disasters and declared as natural disaster areas.
The bill envisaging the restructuring of public debts will also be enacted by the parliament this week. Regulations will be made for taxpayers in the earthquake zone within the bill.
The Central Bank will release the Real Effective Exchange Rate for January (2.30 p.m.).
IN OUR MAGAZINE THIS WEEK:
>> On the cover: Gokhan Tas, President of Master Turk Group is on our cover story this week. “33% of the 6 million housing stock in quake-prone Istanbul should be rebuilt while demand for industrial real estate in the periphery of Istanbul will increase,” Tas says. You can read the details on pages 8-9.
>> Professor Ilter Turan: Pressuring Turkiye is unlikely to work. P. 10.
>> Report: A law specific to Istanbul is a must: Mayor of Istanbul. You can read the details on page 11.
>> Chief Economist Gunduz Findikcioglu: The long hot spring. Pp. 12-13.
>> Our Foreign Policy Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli addresses the EU’s support to the economy after the election on page 14.
>> Turkey has arrested 247 people suspected responsible for the collapse of buildings in twin quakes on February 6 as of March 5, according to daily EKONOMI.
>> The global investment in renewable energy transformation technologies increased by 19% to USD 1.3tr in 2022, as compared to 2021, according to the latest report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The figure must be quadrupled to limit global warming to 1.5 °C.
>> Tenders for the construction of 200,000 houses will be held for earthquake victims until May, according to Housing Development Administration (TOKI) President Omer Bulut. He also said they plan to build industrial sites immediately.