Turkey prioritizes localizing its economy amid pandemic

Government to implement long-term, Turkish lira-based, low-cost financing programs in coming period, says treasury minister

Merve Ozlem Cakir, Erhan Cihan Unal and Ayse Bocuoglu Bodur   | 20.05.2020
Turkey prioritizes localizing its economy amid pandemic


Turkey is set to enter a new period in which domestic production will be prioritized, said the country's treasury and finance minister on Wednesday.

"We will further protect and support all of our industrialists who take responsibility for domestic production," Berat Albayrak said in a virtual meeting with top Turkish business officials.

He said that the government will implement its long-term, Turkish lira-based and low-cost financing programs even more effectively along with the falling interest rates in the coming period.

One of the issues that has been brought by the virus-driven economic crisis is the importance of digitalization and the use of digital technologies.

"In order to turn this situation into opportunity immediately, we consider it important for our businesses of all scales to complete their digital transformation in all processes from design to production, from marketing to logistic," Albayrak said.

"We will evaluate this process well in terms of speeding up the localization steps, especially in the production of medium-high and high-tech products and intermediate goods in Turkey," he stressed.

Virus relief package hits nearly $37B

He also said in the new period importing will no longer be as easy as it was before, adding Turkey will not import goods from abroad except for strategic goods.

Instead, he added, the government will focus on enhancing the production capacity of the country.

Commenting on the economic relief package released by the government, Albayrak said as of today, the amount of the support has exceeded 252 billion Turkey liras (nearly $37 billion).

"If we include the deferred loans and overdue principal interest payments, this figure tops 350 billion liras (about $52 billion).

Albayrak added that if Turkey can combat the economic impacts of the pandemic with a resource of more than 5% of its national income, it will be the profit of this period.

He also said the new era will be a period in which countries will prioritize guaranteeing the financial stability of their trade in their currencies through bilateral agreements.

He also said Turkey's swap negotiations with many countries continue.

There is an optimism for possible swap deals to be reached with foreign banks, helping Turkish lira recover against the US dollar after the currency recently hit an all-time low of 7.2690.

*Written by Aysu Bicer

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