Chairman's Message

The Year of Struggling for the Economy

We have left behind the first month of a difficult year for our country's economy and our industry. This year will truly be a year of struggle for our economy. Because, as we all know, we experienced the projections of an irrational policy approach in our economy until the middle of the last year. And as a result, we lost price stability, and after many years, we unfortunately started to live with high inflation again. Financial stability has been damaged seriously, too. All those led to a loss of confidence in the economy.

Now, we are at the beginning of a struggle to balance all these instabilities and to find a rational path for the economy again. This struggle of our new economic management for approximately eight months will undoubtedly take time to yield results.

While we are all going through tough times, pushing our patience, we must also carefully monitor the global developments that affect our economy. As of the first weeks of 2024, we see that the moderation trend in the global economy continues. Geographically speaking, although the US economy is positively differentiated from the rest of the world, China and our main export market, Europe, are still the main centers of weakness. Moreover, as we see in the Red Sea, geopolitical tensions create serious uncertainty over energy and transportation costs.

We evaluated all these developments together with our Minister of Treasury and Finance, Mr. Mehmet Şimşek at our ICI Assembly held with the agenda of "The Importance of Financial Policies Needed by Investment and Production for a Qualified, Sustainable, and Highly Competitive New Generation Industry". Mr. Şimşek made very important evaluations in his comprehensive presentation on the world and Turkish economy as you can read in detail in the following pages.

As you know, February will be the month we will remember with sorrow in our country's history. We will never forget the destruction, the devastation and tens of thousands of lives lost in 11 cities with the two consecutive earthquakes we experienced in Kahramanmaraş on February 6 last year. I would like to once again express my sincere condolences for those who lost their lives in that great destruction. It is not easy to heal the wounds of such a big earthquake in a short time. But under the leadership of our State, every institution and every one of all ages have been doing their best to ease this pain with a spirit of full mobilization for a year. I pray to God that our country will never experience such pain again, and wish you all a healthy and peaceful month.

Erdal Bahçıvan
Istanbul Chamber of Industry
Chairman