Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Turkey's business leaders agree to scrap the current economic program which was prepared by Kemal Derviş

While Turkey's private sector urges the government to prepare “a new economic program,” the economic authorities are not taking the business world seriously. Government officials ask the private sector to bring “concrete suggestions” forward, but Turkey's business world submitted countless proposals concerning a new economic program.

ISTANBUL – Referans

Turkey's business world iterates their demand of a new economic program every day at a louder volume, while the government accuses the business environments of bringing “vain suggestions.” Turkey's business leaders agree that Turkey no longer fits with the current economic program which was prepared by Kemal Derviş, chairman of the United Nations Development Program, or UNDP, and former state minister for economic affairs, following the economic crisis in 2001.

However, the reports, which were prepared by the prominent organizations of Turkey's business world within the last five years, include a vast number of concrete resolution advices such as “considering the economic growth while adjusting the interest rates,” “returning the investment incentive implementation,” “increasing the direct income support in agriculture,” “stimulating the small and medium size enterprises, or SMEs, to merge” and “accelerating exporters' Value Added Tax repayments.”

New program government's task

The private sector representatives are urging the government on unemployment, current account deficit, inflation, high interest rates and overvalued lira issues as well as submitting their suggestions to the related ministries. The organizations prepared many reports and research on the fundamental problems of Turkey's economy, such as high energy costs, the tax burden and low currency-high interest rate issues and now they point out that preparing the new program is the government's task.

“We shall carry on a new program and a new vision in economy,” said Mehmet Şimşek in Bitlis last week, calling the business world to work on a new program. “Bringing the interest-currency-capital triangle under control is impossible,” he said, calling on the business world to develop concrete suggestions.

Organizations inform society:

But the business organizations have been working to draw a road map in order to restore the economy for a long time. Business organizations, such as Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, or TOBB; Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, or TÜSİAD; Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, or MÜSİAD; Turkish Exporters' Assembly, or TİM; and Istanbul Chamber of Industry, or İSO, are publishing reports and research a few times each year concerning the situation of Turkey's economy.

Large number of reports, which are prepared by trade associations, business unions and business organizations, inform the society on wide range of economic issues of Turkey, from the agricultural policies to the European Union harmonization laws, from female-male equality to the problems of industry.

New program crucial

“Şimşek should reconsider the suggestions of business world,” said Oğuz Satıcı, chairman of TİM. “Our most important suggestion is the need for a new economic program. Even though all of our suggestions are so-called ‘vain,' the proposal of a new program has crucial importance. Turkey is unable to move with the current program.”

“We have been publishing reports and research on Turkey's economy for 25 years,” said Erdoğan Özötün, İSO Economic Affairs advisor. “Sometimes government officials ask us to send our reports to them. But mostly we send them the reports straight away.”

“The need for a new economic program is clearly realized through the data in the reports,” said Özötün. “We've been trying to do our best diagnosing the problems and providing resolutions for many years.”

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