Threatening competition and crisis management

Published 14.02.2020 21:01
Updated 15.02.2020 00:18

The "New Age," which started with the conquest of Istanbul and ended with the changes led by the first Industrial Revolution in 1750 and the French Revolution in 1789, represents all the characteristics of the imperial expansion period. This period, where the fundamental powers and mandates of the state were collected in one person and the absolute monarchy was in place, was a period of discoveries in terms of its geostrategic aspect and a period of statism in terms of economic policies.

The period between 1750 and 2000, on the other hand, witnessed the first, second and third Industrial Revolutions, in which the parliamentary system stood out. Especially during the time before World War I (1914) and after World War II (1945), it was a period that we can define as the romantic and liberal era in economy and politics. This is the era during which, in the first place, the seeds of globalization were planted, and with the end of the Cold War in 1991, globalization spread, the world economy and global trade started to progress, and global growth picked up speed.

This, undoubtedly, brought important expectations that the 21st century would be a century of "peace, tranquillity and inclusive development." The reality, however, was not that at all. Countries such as China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and Indonesia, who positioned themselves as the "newly emerging" and "global and regional power centers," frightened the "developed economies," who thought only they would produce the technology of the 21st century and merely use the emerging economies as production and consumption centers. This fear, anxiety and restlessness triggered advanced economies to create a threatening period of competition with the emerging economies.

Romanticism was gone, and the "brutal realist" period began. The period of peace and tranquillity, and bipolar and symmetrical threats ended; the period of instability and restlessness, and multipolar and asymmetric threats began. "Guardian wars" came to the fore over terrorist organizations and paramilitary structures. Today, we are experiencing a "threatening competition" period to its full extent, in which the states are now directly threatening each other and engaging in direct trade wars. This is happening, in particular, in conjunction with the extreme right-wing and protectionist trends in the developed economies.

This whole picture indicates that we will spend at least half of the 21st century in an era of threatening competition and crisis management – a comprehensive crisis management against all topics that pose a threat to the world economy, global trade and inclusive development such as trade wars, the risk of epidemic disease, creative destruction due to digitalization, regional conflicts, insensitivity to global climate change, regional and global migration and the refugee problem. The next 30 years of the 25 leading economies, including Turkey, who will determine the fate of the world, will be spent on measures and rules for crisis management toward threatening competition.

We are talking about a 30-year period that will bolster Turkey's border security, unity and totality, strengthen its capabilities to create high value-added national income, reinforce its share in global trade and increase our share in the world economy first to 1.5% and then to 3%. During these 30 years, we will take great steps based on national projects on digital transformation, defense, robotics and next-generation mechanization, energy technologies and energy resources, and infrastructure and superstructure projects which will strengthen our position in the global competition. We will achieve this by clearing all the treacherous structures, all guardianship focuses from within, by strengthening our unity and solidarity and focusing on the future.

Coronavirus rumor is a bigger threat

The "Made in China 2025" strategic plan aims to make China one of the most powerful manufacturers in the world between 2015 and 2025, to climb to the top of the manufacturing industry's super league from 2026 to 2035, and to become the No. 1 manufacturer in the world during the period of 2035 to 2046. In order to increase the added value of its exports, China claims to have become a global actor in energy equipment, robots, new generation communication technologies, aviation and space technologies and vehicles, maritime vehicles and high-tech ships, new generation railway technologies, new generation cars and energy-saving vehicle technologies, new generation agricultural technologies, biofarma and high technology medical equipment between 2015 and 2046.

U.S. President Trump's trade war setup directly targets China's "Made in China 2025" plan. China has a 14% share of the U.S.' imports. China's share of the imports of most of the leading EU countries is over 20%. This rate is close to 30% in the Netherlands. The same rate is 25.6% for Japan. The overall share of Chinese goods in the global manufacturing industry is 20%. The ratio of Chinese-made products in the manufacturing industry of South Korea and Japan is 40%, and in the U.S, Russia, Mexico and Brazil, that ratio is 25-30%. While China's production share in the global automotive industry was merely 10% just 20 years ago, today it is 29.8%. All these figures indicate that if the rumors about a global pandemic become more intense amid the coronavirus threat, there will be a global supply crisis.

News of those infected at Singapore's financial center has prompted global markets to be overly concerned about the increase in non-Chinese cases. Therefore, international business negotiations aside, it has also brought visits to China for supply meetings and fairs to a halt. Most international airlines are determined not to resume flights to China until the end of the month. All of these developments have turned the international media's eyes toward Turkey as the most powerful alternative supplier. As the rumors about the spread of the disease have caused greater fear than the outbreak itself, it has reached a level where it is seriously threatening the performance of the world economy in the first quarter of 2020.

Even LG Electronics from South Korea, Ericsson from Sweden, U.S. chip company NVIDIA and Amazon announced that they will not attend the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. Taking into account the concern at the global scale over air travel, it might be a right, rational strategy for Turkey to focus on business-to-business suppliers in the U.S., the EU, Latin America and Africa to bolster its position as a "safe harbor" supplier during this period. Turkey's ability to transform such a skill into an added value will allow it to break new records in exports in a difficult year like 2020.

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