Hot topics discussed at Turkey's major economic event

Experts, officials, sector players tackle inflation, pandemic measures, supply chains at Uludag Economy Summit

2021-11-25 10:03:13

ISTANBUL 

Turkey's major economic event, Uludag Economy Summit, began Wednesday, hosting dozens of experts, officials and sector players to discuss hot topics such as increasing global commodity prices, pandemic measures and changing supply chains.

The two-day summit has been organized since 2012 while it was held virtually the last two years because of coronavirus pandemic measures.

Turkey's Trade Minister Mehmet Mus said at the opening of the event, that Turkey should make great efforts to utilize its potential in the changing world economy.

After the pandemic, which has been affecting the world's economy since 2019, new opportunities await and the business world should be well analyzed, he said.

Touching on inflation, he stressed that the rapid recovery of global demand and increasing price trends in logistics have caused an imbalance in the supply-demand area.

He said Turkish exports surpassed expectations in 2021 and are projected to reach more than $211 billion as of the end of 2021.

On climate change, the minister said the world cannot postpone or neglect the crisis. Turkey is preparing its action plan for a green transition but the cost stemming from the crisis should be shared by all countries.

2022 to be better

Ahmet Dorduncu, CEO of Turkish conglomerate Akkok Holding, said the industrial sector began to run at full capacity in the second half of 2021 when pandemic measures eased and there was soaring energy demand. "Negative effects were experienced in almost all sources in energy production, and sufficient supply could not be provided in response to the demand,” he said.

Saying that logistical costs increased unbelievably, he stressed that container transportation costs reached $10,000 from $800 and that created a good opportunity for Turkey, especially in the textile sector.

He said there are several uncertainties in 2022 such as logistics, raw material and energy costs and volatility, "but despite everything, 2022 will still be good."

Caglar Gogus, the head of another conglomerate Dogan Holding, said raw material prices will stabilize, volatility will decrease and the tourism sector will normalize in the second half of 2022.

"We follow the developments in the market, we strongly believe in Turkey's potential, we will maintain our long-term strategic perspective on investments," he said.

In 2022, Turkey should become stronger in the labor market, sustainable growth cannot be achieved without sustainable human resources, he said and noted: "Human resources issues such as competence development, creating more employment, and career opportunities are main priorities."

Increasing energy demand

Ebru Ozdemir, chairperson of the board of Turkey's Limak Group of Companies, said uncertainties and supply-demand problems caused demand-based inflation in 2021.

She stressed that Turkey will grow by double-digit figures in the coming years and this will cause more demand for energy.

"There is no point in investing without some energy sources -- the most important sector of 2022 will be energy," she said.

Mehmet Nane, general manager of a Turkish air carrier Pegasus, said the delta variant caused the strongest uncertainties in the aviation sector at the mid-year point of 2021.

"We were aiming to close the end of 2021 by at least catching the 2020 figures, however, the delta variant, reclosures and the excessive increase in the number of Covid-19 cases caused our country to be put on the red list,” he said. "But it is certain that 2021 will be better than 2020."

He added that inflation, supply chains and qualified labor forces are the most important topics on the global agenda.