Euro slide hitting Turkish exporters
Turkish exporters need urgent help to compensate for the drastic plunge in the euro, a Turkish trade official says.
Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursat Tuzmen said there was nothing to do on this issue besides giving exporters more support. In a meeting Friday with young businessmen, Tuzmen gave his views on changing global markets and the steps that must be taken in Turkey's foreign trade policy. The Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD) organized the meeting.
Tuzmen said Turkey's natural resources aren't as rich as some of its neighbors and it must invest in human resources. He said Turkey has a young, dynamic and entrepreneurial population, but its handicap is a lack of systematic thinking and planning.
He said specialization and doing what others cannot do is invaluable in the world economy. Turkey's export industry is too dependent on European markets and on its textile industry. He said the real challenge before Turkey is not the European Union but the year 2005, when trade will be drastically liberalized among members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The undersecretary told the young businessmen they should focus on products with high value added and increased exports, which he described as the cheapest way of financing. He said financial difficulties of the Turkish export industry were easing but input and labor costs were too high.
Tuzmen also said there was no communication or trust between businessmen and bureaucrats, but they are cut from the same cloth.
In response to questions from the audience Tuzmen said these are problems of a developing country and couldn't be solved by simply importing Western institutions, but that Western work
and business attitudes also had to be adopted.
Tuzmen is in Taiwan this week, heading a conference on transforming economic zones during development. It is sponsored by the World Export Processing Zones Association (WEPZA), of which Tuzmen is the chairman. This will be the 20th WEPZA conference and more than 200 representatives from 32 countries are attending.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) founded WEPZA in 1978. It is the only international organization dealing with free-trade zones, export-processing zones and technology parks. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)