Turkey invested some TL 566 million in subsidies in its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the first three months of 2019, according to official figures released yesterday.
Turkey supported over 35,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs in the first quarter of the year, said Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank in a statement.
Varank added that the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB), which coordinates the subsidies, would continue to strengthen the competitive edge of Turkish SMEs in line with the country's priority to spur economic growth.
Varank said that in 2018 Turkey's presidential system made strategic coordination and economic planning much easier at a time when Turkey envisions National Technology, Strong Industry.
Pointing to the next 4.5 years until 2023, a period free of elections, Varank said they will use this window of opportunity to strengthen Turkey's structural foundation and prioritize the economy. "The way to permanently sustain global competitiveness in this day and age is to invest in high tech," he said.
"Our ultimate goal is to turn our SMEs into competitive, global players. We will exert our full strength to reform our economy and sustain our growth by investing in every step of industrial development."
In the meantime, some 13 Turkish lenders launched a TL 20-billion finance package for SMEs in January.
SMEs, which have an annual turnover of less than TL 25 million, may benefit from the 6-month-non-refundable loan package with a 1.54-percent monthly interest rate, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak had announced.
Firms in the manufacturing and export sectors will receive TL 1 million, while other sectors will receive TL 500,000. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), small and medium-sized businesses play an important role in improving efficiency and diminishing inequalities, constituting more than 95 percent of all companies and providing 60-70 percent of employment in OECD member countries. In Turkey, SMEs account for more than 99 percent of all businesses, 73 percent of employment, 53 percent of value-added, 55 percent of total investments and 55 percent of exports, the OECD report shows.