TGDF Board of Presidents Meets

Federation of Food and Drink Industry Associations of Turkey (TGDF) met in Istanbul on January 15 at the Board of Presidents.

Economist Fatih Keresteci, participating in the program as a guest speaker, shared important information about “Turkey’s Economy in the Light of Global Developments and Developments for Financial Markets.” Referring to the stagnation in the world economy and the slowdown in growth, Fatih Keresteci also shared his suggestions on how the real sector should be prepared for 2020 and beyond.

TGDF President Kopuz: We spent a year in the shadow of difficulties

In the opening speech of the meeting, Şemsi Kopuz said, “Unfortunately, we have left another year behind in the shadow of wars, tensions and global difficulties… And our agriculture and food sectors have been also negatively affected by these difficulties and tensions from time to time.

That is why we invited Mr. Fatih Keresteci to our meeting this year. He will soon share with us important information about Turkey’s economy and financial markets in the light of global developments.” Kopuz, continued his words as follows:

“2019 was a year in which we struggled together with many problems under the roof of TGDF and managed to come through against all challenges… All the details of our work are available in the files distributed to you. However, I would like to emphasize a few important works. You know that we laid the foundations of TGDF in 2006 with a Search Conference that we held together. And we came together again last November and reviewed our future strategies all together. At the Search Conference, we saw that the expectations from TGDF focused on two main issues.

"TGDF Academy was launched"

The first of these was TGDF to pioneer more training activities; to this end, we launched the TGDF Academy. Our aim is to contribute to the qualified workforce and to support our businesses for a more efficient and happier human resource.

Another important task was “Combating Information Pollution”. Our members of the Board of Directors took the initiative to find out what they can do about it and brought the issue to the agenda of the Industry Liaison Committee. Our friend Sinan Şahin will share with you the details on this subject soon.

“3. Food and Nutrition Biennial must be regarded as a milestone”

We also had the opportunity to consult with Funda Elmacıoğlu, the president of Food Lightening Platform, which was established by academicians in particular. In TGDF’s efforts to combat information pollution, we have found that they can assist communication between the public and industry. For this reason, I think we should accept the Food, Nutrition and Health Biennial to be held in March as a milestone for these works to start.

On the other hand, as TGDF, we started to seriously benefit from the outputs of the Agrimeter Agriculture and Food Data Center, which is an important start-up project. That was, the Digital Data Panel, made available in real time to all stakeholders on the TGDF website.

"Protocol signed with the Ministry of Environment"

As you know, sustainability is one of the most discussed topics in the global arena. The protocol we signed with the General Directorate of Environmental Management as TGDF is a milestone for the sector. It is of great importance that we all take an active role in the working groups established with the Ministry within the scope of this protocol, in terms of achieving our goals.

CNR Food Fair was one of our important events in 2019. Circular Economy was discussed in all details within the scope of the Fair and I would like to thank everyone who supported this issue.

"NISAD and ABUDER become members of TGDF"

2019 has been a year in which participation in TGDF continued. Starch Manufacturers Association, shortly NISAD, joined our federation. Packaged Spice Producers Association ABUDER has also applied to TGDF after the General Assembly.

It is pleasing to see that we are taking firm steps towards becoming a bigger and stronger family.

"Fatih Keresteci: The global economy is slowing down

Economist Fatih Keresteci, who participated in the program as a guest speaker, evaluated the global economy with the following words:

“The world economy has been losing momentum gradually in recent years. The growth in 2019 was 2.9%, the lowest in the last 10 years. The outlook in the manufacturing industry is even more negative. Manufacturing industry ended the year with a contraction in many developed countries.

Authorities immediately cling to expansionary monetary policies in order to eliminate the loss of momentum in the economy. This tool provides a short recovery. However, there has been no significant effect in the long run, as ultra-loose monetary policies are still applied.

Although expansionary monetary policies ultimately do not do much for growth, they cause unprecedented enthusiasm in the financial markets. So much so that since the beginning of 2009, when expansionary monetary policies were implemented, the American stock market index S&P 500 offered 330% real return. In the same period, the US economy only grew by 50% in real terms.

We can summarize the main reasons for the loss of momentum in the world economy as the deterioration in income distribution, the shrinkage of the trade pie due to the increasing tendency of protectionism, global aging and the transfer of resources to financial instruments instead of production. Before finding solutions to these problems, it seems difficult to achieve a lasting economic recovery.”

"Turkey began rebalancing"

Keresteci evaluated the recent process in Turkey’s economy with the following words:

“The Turkish economy is ‘rebalancing’ in technical terms, gradually overcoming the effects of the financial turbulence it was exposed to in the summer of 2018. However, in order for the Turkish economy to return to its old growth days, it needs to focus on structural reforms and restore confidence.

Turkish financial markets have become inward-oriented with the steps taken recently. This environment yielded results by pulling down volatility in the short term. However, limiting the financial markets in an economy that depends on external financing in order to invest, reduces the inflow of resources in the long run, which in turn lowers the growth potential.

As long as the global risk appetite maintains its vitality, the Turkish Lira can follow a stable course. However, if global markets are exposed to selling pressure, the risk of depreciation in Turkish Lira may increase. Although the sharp decline in interest rates is positive for the general economic balance, it loosens the TL’s protection shield.

Although Turkey’s economy records a fluctuating trend in the short term, we believe that Turkish lira assets are relatively cheap. In case investor confidence is re-established and investor appetite increases as a result, a significant appreciation may be experienced in Turkish Lira assets.

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