Global 'decoupling' is over

Published 18.01.2019 23:30
Updated 19.01.2019 01:03

Just before and after the 2008 global financial crisis broke out, "decoupling" was an important concept that was presented in reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, primarily, and other similar international economic organizations. This concept meant that the economies of East and South East Asia, where China was the locomotive country, performed in a manner that would allow them to not be affected by global economic-political developments by decoupling from the U.S. and EU economies dragged into the global financial crisis. It was believed that the economic performance of countries such as China, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, which had precedence, would not allow them to be affected by the global financial crisis. However, the 10 years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis revealed that decoupling to this extent was not possible for Asian economies.

In this process, despite the U.S. economy reacting positively to the expansionary monetary policy implemented by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) allowing the country's economy to recover and the EU economies to recover even if in delay, the share of exports to the U.S. and EU of total exports in leading developing countries declined from 33 percent to 26 percent. However, the EU and the U.S. are still the most critical export markets for emerging economies. This is why the global trade war triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump, in addition to the considerable recovery in the U.S. and EU economies, showed that leading Asian economies such as China, South Korea and India did not actually establish a sustainable, lasting decoupling process. For this reason, the economic situation is too dispirited for China, South Korea and India.

For Turkey, decoupling was difficult due to its dependence on EU in trade and finance channels. This is why Turkish exporters and the Turkish business world tried to keep trade and finance channels with Western countries as strong as possible. Thus, in 2018, with a new export record broken at $168.1 billion, the share of the European market in Turkey's exports is still at 50 percent. Even though the world's center of gravity is shifting toward the Asia-Pacific region, the Atlantic side in the region keeps world trade going with its imports. For this reason, leading emerging economies will have to postpone decoupling in terms of economic performance to another spring.

From traditional banking to 'digital transformation'

The rapid transformation in the world economy and changes in the daily lives of the world's citizens are forcing the banking system to move from branch banking services limited to certain hours to 24-hour digital banking services. Some 89 percent of the institutions in the global financial system are conducting digital transformations. Productivity, growth in market share, competition pressure and the need for innovation are the most important reasons for this digital transformation. On a global scale, customers want their banking services to be inclusive and accessible 24/7 throughout their daily life. This is why banks are striving to stand out with financial services (fintech) technologies.

Some technologies are listed as platform banking to offer the same banking service at a lower cost and in a more flexible way to the customer, artificial intelligence technology banks offer more efficient and faster banking services to their customers, social banking that connects the bank accounts of people for shared economy using blockchain technology and inclusive banking, which will allow 2 billion people who do not have a bank account in the world to make transactions using basic banking services with smart devices and smart technologies, especially for Africa.

Ernst & Young's report from two years ago indicates that more than 55 percent of customers in developing countries work with more than one bank and that to get the attention of Generation Y, which is entering the business world as entrepreneurs and professional managers, will be via differentiating the customer experience. The fact that many banking transactions cannot be carried out after 5 p.m. in the 21st century is a completely outdated approach. Banking now has to move toward a 24-hour service mentality as part of the global financial system. Life will be very hard for those stuck in a traditional branch-banking concept.

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