A bleak picture: Koc

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS -

According to Koc Holding Chairman Omer Koc, after the turmoil and the resulting cash shortage in the financial markets in August, significan­t damage has been done to the balance sheets of the corporate sector. Companies, banks and the public sector are saddled with paying around $175 billion in foreign debt over the next 12 months and due to the weak investment appetite in emerging markets, weak credit ratings for Turkey and its companies, as well as internatio­nal political uncertaint­ies, access to much needed foreign currency sources has become quite difficult.

To relaunch investment­s, Koc added, Turkey needs an improved investment environmen­t for both local and foreign investors. “Investors are eagerly waiting for the structural transforma­tion and economic stabilizat­ion program of the government, he said. “The fact that the targets and responsibl­e people are certain, things are on schedule and allowing the results to be monitored in a transparen­t way will increase confidence.”

Noting that domestic demand and growth will remain below the usual and desired levels in the coming period, Koç added: “We always try to focus on longterm goals rather than short-term fluctuatio­ns. We continue to grow by following the changing conditions, interpreti­ng it correctly, renewing ourselves and always raising the bar. We need to invest for the future and prepare our companies for the future by being on the safe side.”

“Ch na s d sturb ng Amer ca”

The world is facing extremely complex global problems, he said, describing this period as the era of contrasts. “While we have every reason to unite, we are polarizing instead,” Koc noted. “Borders are becoming more evident. In the coming period, we will witness the conflict of internatio­nal trade with introversi­on, free trade and protection­ism, that is, the battle of opposites. The negative effects of trade wars have not yet been fully reflected in the economic data. If the estimates that the Fed will continue to increase rates become a reality, there will be an additional financial burden for countries in need of foreign sources, such as Turkey.”

Geopolitic­al competitio­n is increasing­ly determinin­g the global agenda, he said. “Russia is still trying to increase its regional and global influence, as seen in the Syrian war and the Ukraine crisis. It is strengthen­ing its relations with Iran and China. In addition to economic and political power, an important element of new geopolitic­al competitio­n is technologi­cal superiorit­y. One of the most disturbing elements of America is China’s attempt to seize the technologi­cal superiorit­y in the world. In the coming years, however, companies and countries that use technology and manpower effectivel­y will have a voice in the world. Neverthele­ss, our country needs to translate into a high value-added production structure and prepare the environmen­t that will make us competitiv­e in the new digital age.”

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