By Ali Atar
Closing out a rough year rocked by speculative attacks, top figures from across Turkey’s business world see brighter skies ahead for 2019.
Business leaders told Anadolu Agency that next year Turkey will leave its economic slowdown behind with the help of structural reforms along with targeted measures and incentives.
Ismail Gulle, chairman of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), said exporters hope Turkish exports will reach $200 billion-plus within a few years.
Turkey's exports in the first 10 months of this year totaled $138.7 billion, up 7.6 percent year-on-year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Stating that exports will fuel growth again in 2019, Gulle said take firm steps are being taken towards Turkey's 2023 export targets through ramping up innovation, R&D, design, and branding.
"As the umbrella group of 72,000 exporters, we’re looking ahead to our country's future with hope," Gulle said.
Stability, transformation, success
Nail Olpak, head of the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), predicted that Turkey's new economic program based on stabilization, discipline, and transformation will enjoy long-term success.
"We believe that our economy will show its real capacity by mobilizing all our opportunities with determination and dedication," he said.
Erdal Bahcivan, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, said the country had generated a new economic agenda of stabilization and recovery.
"I’m sure that in the coming months, various alternative financing models will be introduced in order to support value-added and technological investments which will help reduce Turkey's current account gap," Bahcivan said.
Sekib Avdagic, chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, said: "In 2019 we will see the results of rebalancing and stability processes."
Businesspeople are optimistic about 2019, which will be a year of gains for manufacturers, he added.
Avdagic underlined that businesspeople's three main expectations in 2019 are timely allowance payments to contractors, fast VAT returns, and improved access to financing.
Touching on the global economy, he stated: "Trade conflicts, oil, political uncertainty, and
Hasan Ali Cesur, chair of the Anatolian Businessmen’s Association, stressed that as of the end of this year, Turkey entered a balancing period.
In this new period, Turkey will fight inflation,
He added: "Turkey is a magnet for investors with its geographic and strategic position."
"Last year Turkey grew, despite all of the problems,” he added. “The country continued to grow with its young population and stable economy."
Orhan Turan, head of the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation, said uncertainties need to be cut sharply to protect Turkey's financial market from fluctuations.
The regularity of cash flow carries vital importance for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the engine of the economy, and reducing problems to access financing makes them stronger, he said.