As DEİK, we continue our video conference series that we have started with the motto, “We’re Not Suspending Our Work”. Moderated by President of DEİK Nail Olpak, “DEİK Talks” Conferences hosted Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak on May 13, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on May 14 and Minister of Industry and Technology, Mustafa Varank on May 20. Each minister talked about the fight against COVID-19 in Turkey and around the world and shared their predictions about the economy. In the meeting, where over 500 businesspeople attended, ministers answered the questions.
“WE WILL BE THE WINNER IN THIS PROCESS”
In the session held with Berat Albayrak, the Minister of Treasury and Finance, President of DEİK Nail Olpak said: “In these challenging and confusing times, the messages of our minister as the person in charge of the economic affairs were important for all of us. We asked Mr. Minister about the forecasts for the economy in this period and the measures taken and expected to be taken. If he seemed pessimistic, we would be pessimistic too. However, Mr. Albayrak stated once again that we would stick to the economic program planned. He said that we were not in any trouble for our foreign currency reserves and they didn’t consider any restrictions in terms of capital.”
Albayrak also stated that they were spending hours to minimize the effects of COVID-19 in our country and reach our economic goals in the upcoming periods. “We built our fight against the pandemic on five main goals. These are; protecting our citizens against the pandemic and treating our patients under the best conditions, providing financial support to those adversely affected by the pandemic, preventing our companies from going out of business due to liquidity shortage, maintaining employment and household income, and taking all the necessary measures to ensure continuity of basic services such as healthcare, food production and distribution, electricity, water, and natural gas,” he said.
Albayrak stated that they provided monetary aid to approximately 5 million families in line with these goals and said, “We helped our citizens who lost their jobs. In addition, we provided over ₺137 billion financing to 190,453 companies within the scope of the Stay-in-Business Package (İşe Devam Paketi). 97% of these companies were SMEs. To support our citizens whose monthly income was less than TRY 5,000, more than TRY 33 billion of resources were provided to 5 million 582 thousand citizens,” he said.
We decided not to halt production completely due to the course of the pandemic and the demands from the real sector.
Albayrak stated that Turkey proved in the pandemic process how successful the healthcare and economy of the country were and said our country would rise in trade and economy areas in the post-pandemic period. According to the Minister, Turkey has already become the first choice for global investments, and it would be at a much better place in the near future.
OUR GOAL IS TO LEAVE THIS CRISIS BEHIND US WITH THE LEAST DAMAGE
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, also shared his evaluations on the COVID-19 process. He said that the whole world was going through an unprecedented period and the pandemic was a breaking point for the global economy. Stating that the outbreak led to severe economic devastation, Çavuşoğlu said, “World Trade Organization says that the global trade volume will decrease by 32%. It also predicts that the European economy, our most important export market, will contract by 13 to 29 per cent. That being the case, our biggest goal is to leave this crisis behind us with the least damage.” Çavuşoğlu stated that other ministries will also undoubtedly help realize this goal with their contributions and talked about the measures taken in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and their primary goal of continuing free trade. Pointing out that they were conducting joint activities with multilateral platforms such as the UN, G20, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Turkic Council and International
Coordinating Group, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey sets an example with its success in healthcare and economy areas.
Turkey sets an example with its success in healthcare and economy areas in such challenging times
“WE WILL MAKE OUR INDUSTRY RESISTANT TO ANY SHOCKS”
And Mustafa Varank, the Minister of Industry and Technology, said that their priority in the COVID-19 period was to provide persistent recovery in production. He expressed that there were positive signals from the real sector for normalizing in the recent period and said, “All of our automotive factories are operating now. We also see recovery in the textile sector. And the food, chemical, drug, and packaging sectors accelerated with the pandemic. The
expectations of the real sector have started to improve. And as the Ministry, we focus on the steps to realize this potential. We will make our industry more resistant to any
shock and keep it alive in all cases.”
“TURKEY WILL PASS THE EXAM SUCCESSFULLY”
Varank emphasized that the whole world was experiencing extraordinary times and reminded that according to expectations of many international institutions, the 2020 global economy would shrink at least 3%. Stating that Turkey also started to feel the economic impact of the virus in April, Varank said that demand came to a halt in
all big markets, especially in the EU. Varank pointed out that they followed a dynamic and
result-oriented management approach and said, “We pay our attention to the sustainability of the economy as well as health measures. We decided not to halt production completely due to the course of the pandemic and the demands from the real sector. We have eased access to short-time working payment to ensure the sustainability of employment.”
“WE SHOULD MAINTAIN A DELICATE BALANCE”
Varank emphasized that these months were the most critical times and said “We should maintain a delicate balance. On one hand, it is necessary to follow measures
optimally so as not to experience the second wave in the pandemic, and to get prepared for the new normal by considering changing global balances, on the other hand.” Varank indicated that the outbreak revealed the importance of self-sufficiency and remarked that Turkey could be one of the best-known supply centres of the work in the new era.