The past two weeks saw positive signals from the real sector toward the gradual normalization in businesses, Turkey’s industry and technology minister said Wednesday, highlighting that their priority is to support a permanent recovery on the production front while ensuring the continuation of the measures for public and employee health.
Speaking at a videoconference held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), Minister Mustafa Varank said that they monitor industry production, capacity utilization rates, manufacturing orders and electricity consumption data almost instantaneously and that the electricity consumption in Organized Industrial Zones (OIZ) has started to increase since the beginning of May.
“Main factories of automotive brands are all operating. There is also recovery in the textile, food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries while the packaging industry has strengthened its businesses with the pandemic,” he said.
Varank said that the ministry regularly organizes meetings with industry representatives and OIZ administrations, noting that expectations of the real sector have started to improve.
“Many manufacturers talk about investment and export opportunities,” he said.
Varank added that they are focusing on making the industry more resistant to all kinds of shocks and to keep them afloat in all circumstances.
“We have to follow a precise balance. On the one hand, it is necessary to comply with the measures at the maximum level in order not to encounter the second wave in the pandemic. On the other hand, it is necessary to prepare for the new norm in the best way, by considering the changing global balances,” Varank said, urging industrialists to prioritize employee health.
Varank noted that when the needs for raw materials and intermediate goods are meet from domestic sources, the country becomes more resistant to external shocks.
“We launched the Technology Oriented Industrial Move Program last year. We designed an end-to-end support mechanism in which we support the buyer and the seller at the same time,” the minister said, adding that they are moving to expand such programs to other industries, starting with machinery.
Saying that global companies are in search of restructuring production centers and that new production and manufacturing centers will emerge, Varank said that Turkey needs to focus on taking a large share in this transformation.
Regional production base
Varank said that Turkey, with several positive developments in terms of production and manufacturing during the pandemic period, should focus on expanding its positive growth and manufacturing capabilities in sectors such as defense, automotive and textiles.
Turkey can become one of the world's leading regional supply centers in the post-pandemic era, Varank said, adding that they will shape the road map together with the stakeholders and pursue active economic diplomacy.
Varank also stressed that they will continue to support industrialists.
"We will continue to support everyone who wants to diversify their activities, focus on productive investments and create employment,” he said, urging businesses to adapt quickly to digital transformation while especially supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups, which are among the most vulnerable businesses in this period.
“I strongly suggest you invest in digitalization. The key to success is directly related to your ability to keep up with technological change. As you take advantage of digital possibilities in production, supply and sales, you will make your businesses more resistant to similar outbreaks,” he noted.