Turkey February Industrial Production Unexpectedly Rises

Turkey’s adjusted industrial production growth rose to 4.4 percent in February, beating expectations and signaling a pickup in economic activity after last year’s slump.

Industrial production rose 1.5 percent over the previous month and 1.7 percent over the previous year when not adjusted for working days, according to figures published by the official statistics agency in Ankara today. The median estimate of five economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 2.4 percent workday-adjusted expansion.

“The industrial production performance in the first two months of this year seems to draw a better picture than the one observed in the final quarter of 2012,” Gokce Celik, an economist at Finansbank AS in Istanbul, said in an e-mailed report after the data was published today. “The recovery in the domestic demand that started in the final quarter of 2012 has started to be transmitted into economic activity as of the beginning of this year.”

Turkey’s gross domestic product expanded by 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter last year, the slowest pace since 2009, as central bank efforts to cut the current-account deficit depressed domestic demand. The economy grew 2.2 percent in the full year to $786.3 billion, according to data released by the statistics office on April 1.

Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan blamed the central bank for the slump in an interview with CNBC-e today, saying it was late to cut interest rates and support government growth goals. He said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also supported that view.

The central bank should cut its benchmark policy rate as the government targets a 4 percent expansion in GDP this year, Caglayan said.

Yields on benchmark two-year Turkish notes dropped 12 basis points to 5.97 percent at 12:05 p.m. in Istanbul, falling for a fourth day. The lira gained 0.1 percent to 1.7914 against the dollar.

via Turkey February Industrial Production Unexpectedly Rises – Businessweek.

ECONOMICS – ‘S&P apologizes to Turkey as Israeli did’

Standard and Poor’s (S&P), the credit ratings agency that has recently upgraded Turkey’s notch, apologized to Turkey just like Israel did, Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan has said.

“S&P is trying to save its reputation and it apologized to Turkey as Israeli did. I call it ‘Double S&P’ because it is an institution that applies a double standard,” Çağlayan said at the meeting of Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (Türkonfed) on March 30.

Çağlayan criticized the agency that gave the same notch to Turkey as the Philippines, Croatia and Romania. He appealed to both S&P and Moody’s to revise Turkey’s notch “to save their reputation.”

S&P upgraded Turkey’s sovereign debt rating to just one step below investment grade on March 27. The agency lifted Turkey’s sovereign credit rating to BB-plus from BB with a stable outlook, citing a rebalancing economy and progress in a Kurdish peace process and noting that its external financing requirements had declined thanks to strong exports and a drop in domestic demand.

However, Moody’s has made it clear that Turkey’s ongoing vulnerabilities were holding the country back despite Turkish investors expecting a possible upgrade by the agency.

Fitch is the only ratings institution among the top three to have kept Turkey in the “investible” category. It upgraded Turkey to an investment grade of BBB in November, citing its moderate and declining levels of public debt.

Free trade deal

Çağlayan said Turkey should get involved in the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the European Union. If the parties did not allow Turkey to participate, then the country should set forth its final opinion to the EU, he said.

Speaking at the same event, Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış said Turkey would not allow the EU’s bilateral agreements to cause unfair competition for Turkey.

The U.S. and EU launched moves on Feb. 13 to open negotiations on a new free trade pact that seeks to eliminate or minimize barriers everywhere. The free trade agreements between the EU and third parties enable these other countries’ goods to enter European markets or Turkish markets via Europe with zero duties, but the decision to provide the same privileges to Turkey is up to the discretion of the third party.

Turkey exported around $5.6 billion worth of goods to the U.S. while importing $14 billion in 2012, according to figures.


via ECONOMICS – ‘S&P apologizes to Turkey as Israeli did’.

Turkey is ready to set up an industrial zone in Cameroon

Turkey-Cameroon Trade and Investment Forum held in Ankara, President Biya said Turkey had the capacity to meet the needs of Cameroon


Turkey’s Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan has said on Wednesday, Turkey was ready to establish a Turkish organized industrial zone in Cameroon.

Caglayan spoke at the Turkey-Cameroon Trade and Investment Forum and said, 53 years old diplomatic relations between Turkey and Cameroon would continue by developing.

Turkish minister underlined that they pay high attention to develop relations with Cameroon in politics, diplomatics, economics and trade and said, “The beginning of flights and the opening of our embassy have a big importance. Turkish Airlines (THY) used to fly only to North Africa and now it flies to 34 different destinations. And in Cameroon THY flies to two destinations. This makes clear the importance of links between Turkey and Cameroon. We care about Cameroon because we care about Africa. In Turkey-Africa relations, we do not only look for financial results.”

Caglayan said, Turkey was playing an important role on the development of Africa continent and stated, “Total investments of Turkish business world is something between 20-25 billion USD. 25 Percent of these are being placed in Africa and this shows the interest of Turkish business community in Africa.”

Caglayan said, with legal infrastructure, Turkish business community would contribute into the future of Cameroon and noted, “We would like to say that we are ready to set up a Turkish organized industrial zone.”

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya invited Turkish businessmen to invest in his country.

“Turkey has the capacity to meet our needs, and we could work together in infrastructure, agriculture and mining areas, said Biya who spoke at the opening of Turkey-Cameroon Trade & Investment Forum.

Biya said that Cameroon was a gate to Central African market, and called on Turkish businessmen to invest in Cameroon.       Biya expressed pleasure that Turkey set trade volume target between the two countries as 500 million USD.

via Turkey is ready to set up an industrial zone in Cameroon | Economy | World Bulletin.

Turkey signs cooperation protocol with Islamic bank

IDB_LogoTurkey on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Anadolu Agency reported.

The MoU was signed by Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Madani, IDB’s president in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The deal seeks to boost trade and investment between Turkey and and the members of the Islamic Development Bank.

via Turkey signs cooperation protocol with Islamic bank – Trend.Az.

Economy minister offers Volkswagen investment in Turkey

Caglayan said he would meet with company officials soon 



World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan has said that given the developments in Turkey’s automotive sector, he believed Volkswagen would not miss Turkey.

Following “Second Turkish-German CEO Forum” also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Ankara, Caglayan answered the questions on Turkish-German business relations.

On “Volkswagen investing in Turkey” issue Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Merkel talked about, Caglayan noted that Merkel said she would be happy on such investment by the company. He said he would meet with the company representatives soon.

“Volkswagen is the most selling company in Turkey, yet has not invested in Turkey, which is hard to understand,” stated Caglayan.

He said they sent letters to the CEOs of the leading companies of the world and invited them to invest in Turkey. He added they would meet with Volkswagen and offer them to invest in Turkey, saying that given the developments in Turkey’s automotive sector, he believed Volkswagen would not miss Turkey.

“They try to put us off with impossible excuses on visa exemption and full membership,” he said on EU issues, adding that visa problems were intended to frustrate Turkish businessmen.