TÜrkonfed Süleyman Sönmez We Should Increase Our High Value Added Exports (1)

TÜRKONFED Süleyman Sönmez: “We should increase our high value-added exports”

TÜRKONFED Chairman Süleyman Sönmez: “Elections are over, the business world is expecting measures that will boost the economy”

The first event of the “Economy & Finance Meetings,” organized by TÜRKONFED and İntegral Investment in collaboration, and hosted by SEDEFED, was held in Istanbul with the theme of “Investment Alternatives and Risk Management.” Speaking at the opening of the event, TÜRKONFED Chairman Süleyman Sönmez announced the results of their quarterly survey conducted to measure the business world’s access to finance and general economic expectations for the first quarter of 2023. Sönmez stated that during this period, 3 out of 4 businesses struggled to access credit, and 8 out of 10 businesses were negatively affected by implemented financial measures. He said, “The elections are over now. As the business world, we expect immediate steps to be taken to improve interest rates and access to finance, to alleviate the pressure on loans, and to implement facilitative practices for accessing finance.”

May 31, 2023 / Istanbul – The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED), in collaboration with İntegral Investment and hosted by the Sectoral Associations Federation (SEDEFED), organized the first event of the “Economy & Finance Meetings” in Istanbul with the theme of “Investment Alternatives and Risk Management.” The opening speeches of the event, planned to be held in four cities by the end of the year, were delivered by TÜRKONFED Chairman Süleyman Sönmez, SEDEFED Vice Chairman Öner Çelebi, and İntegral Investment Deputy General Manager and Board Member İbrahim Taşdoğan.

TÜRKONFED Süleyman Sönmez We should increase our high value-added exports (2)

Süleyman Sönmez: “We must return to the economic agenda to build hope.”

TÜRKONFED Chairman Süleyman Sönmez, starting his speech by congratulating the 13th President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the 28th Term Members of Parliament, said, “The elections are now behind us. It is time to focus on building the developed Turkey of our dreams, time to build the Turkey of tomorrow and hope. This requires a great responsibility for all of us. Above all, we must quickly return to the economy, which is our main agenda.”

“Businesses find the quantity and access to KGF loans scarce”

Reminding that TÜRKONFED measures the business world’s access to finance and general economic expectations every quarter, Sönmez shared the results of the first quarter of 2023 survey with the following words: “The results indicate that conditions have become even more challenging for businesses, especially SMEs, since 2022. One out of every three businesses meets its working capital needs through bank loans or financing obtained from suppliers and customers. Three out of four businesses say that access to credit has become more difficult. The percentage of those who find the 350 billion TL KGF loans announced before the elections insufficient is 85%, and 74% of businesses state that accessing KGF loans has become more difficult.”

“We must increase our high value-added exports”

Sönmez explained that the climate of trust to be created in economic policies forms the basis for many issues, from international investments to access to finance, and emphasized that according to the survey, 8 out of 10 business people believe that the financial measures taken by the economic management have adversely affected their business conditions. Sönmez stated that interest rates, inflation, exchange rate uncertainties, and the current account deficit, which are the priority problems of the economy, need to be resolved urgently. He listed the expectations of the business world as follows: “Improving steps should be taken to stabilize the long-standing uncertainty regarding interest rates and access to finance. The pressure on loans should be alleviated, and hindrances to access to finance should be eliminated, while facilitative practices should be rapidly implemented. The main reason for the high trade deficit is not the lack of desired growth in exports but our excessive dependence on imports, especially in the energy sector, and our inability to exceed the 3% threshold in high value-added, high-tech product exports. The leverage of digital and green transformation will help us overcome these thresholds with the right and effective policies, and the leverage of social transformation will open the door for us to go beyond the walls that limit our potential. We should now write a new story focused on industry and production in competitiveness and transition from an economic model focused on development rather than growth.”

Öner Çelebi: “By understanding the dynamics of the market, we can contribute to development.”

SEDEFED Vice Chairman Öner Çelebi, emphasizing that Turkey offers a unique environment for investment and growth, stated, “As we rapidly progress on the path to becoming a global economic power, situations that affect the entire country and the national economy, such as market fluctuations, political uncertainties, and unfortunate natural disasters, make the exploration of alternative investment instruments and risk management increasingly important. Understanding the intricacies of these instruments is crucial for the business world and investors trying to manage the complex dynamics of the Turkish market. By deepening our understanding of alternative investment instruments and risk management, we can unlock new paths of growth and make a greater contribution to the sustainable development of the Turkish economy. With this perspective, we believe that our event will provide a great opportunity to explore the potential of alternative investment instruments and develop effective strategies for risk management, thereby supporting the shaping of the financial ecosystem.”

İbrahim Taşdoğan: “We will support the business world in overcoming risks”

İbrahim Taşdoğan, Deputy General Manager and Board Member of İntegral Yatırım, stated, “Since our establishment, we have attached great importance to financial literacy and educational activities in this regard. As is known, unpredictable negative fluctuations have occurred in the world economy after the pandemic. While many businesses suffered significant losses during such periods, those who had taken precautions against risks were much less affected by these conditions. Each risk environment emerges with its own conditions. With this event, we want to support the business world on how to overcome these risks. Our goal is to analyze the current situation, explain the opportunities in the capital market and corporate finance within this context, and how companies can benefit from them, and to answer their questions directly.”

Expert figures gathered in panels

After the opening speeches, two panels were held moderated by TÜRKONFED Board Member and Chairman of the Access to Finance Commission, Kaan Kiziroğlu. The “Alternative Investment Instruments” panel took place with the participation of Economist Emrah Lafçı, ATA Portföy General Manager & Board Member Mehmet Gerz, İntegral Yatırım Deputy General Manager Osman İlker Savuran, and Sanica Isı Chairman of the Board Ali Fatinoğlu. The second panel discussed “Risk Management” with the participation of Meliha Seyhan, Independent Board Member of Smart Güneş Teknolojileri and Founder of Anka Bütünsel Yönetim Danışmanlığı, Esra Korkmazarslan, Executive Director of Ünlü&Co, İbrahim Taşdoğan, Deputy General Manager and Board Member of İntegral Yatırım, and Cem Öztürk, Marsh Advisory Türkiye Manager of Marsh & McLennan Companies.


TÜRKONFED, which includes over 30 federations and more than 300 national and international associations, has over 60,000 companies under its umbrella, accounting for 83% of the total (excluding energy) foreign trade and approximately 55% of non-agricultural and non-public sector employment. TÜRKONFED members include Istanbul, Western Anatolia, Marmara and Inner Anatolia, Thrace, Western Black Sea, Central Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Northern Anatolia, Eastern Black Sea, Inner Anatolia, Southern Aegean, Eastern Marmara, Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Marmara, Çukurova, Northern Marmara, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, Southeast, Zafer, İpekyolu, Kapadokya, Mevlana, Eastern, Serhat, Dicle, and Fırat Industrialists and Businessmen Federations, as well as the Sectoral Associations Federation, Fashion and Ready-to-Wear Federation, and Construction Products Manufacturers Federation. TÜRKONFED is a member of SMEunited, the umbrella organization of European SMEs, representing 12 million companies and 55 million employees.

For information:

TÜRKONFED / Deputy Secretary General – Corporate Communication / Hayati Bakış / +90 533 480 88 35 / hbakis@turkonfed.org / www.turkonfed.org / info@turkonfed.org

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