ANKARA - Turkey is yet to see the worst part of the global crisis, says İşbank Managing Director Ersin Özince, urging everyone to be conscious contributors to the nation’s economy. The country should mobilize its own facilities to the fullest, says the manager of Turkey's biggest publicly traded bank
"The land becomes visible only when one swims. It is not possible to reach the land by waiting for the waves to carry you," said İşbank Managing Director Ersin Özince, speaking to journalists yesterday.
Replying to a question on whether Turkey has seen the bottom of the crisis, he said, "I do not think so. It is obvious that countries that have failed to form their own capital and financial resources and need foreign resources, such as Turkey, will receive fewer sources due to this crisis."
He said such resources would also be selective. "Everyone will not be able to find external resources as much as they want, or with the maturities and prices they demand. Besides loan, the resources that arrive for investment purposes are likely to decrease as well."
Noting that some efforts are necessary to reduce the impacts, he said that Turkish citizens should "look after" their country and economy. People should focus on savings just like at the initial stages of the Republican period, and not only banking, but also capital and financial markets should be managed robustly, he said.
Turkey is an economy with relatively limited needs, he said. "Above all, Turkey needs to take care of the savings and capital of its citizens. It is also important to draw to the country financial transactions abroad that belong to the citizens of the Turkish Republic."
He also said that Turkey’s economy should be under record. "Informal economy is unfortunately one of the biggest problems of Turkey. Rather than seeking the cure outside, we should designate our own efforts in order to reach the land or get ahead in the competition."
Özince noted rather than waiting the revival of the external market, Turkey’s own resources should be mobilized. He also stressed the importance of increasing the trade with the countries in the region, or with the ones to which Turkey may express its experiences.
"We should deal with the development of those countries as well. We should bring loan packages to them. We should develop social and economic cooperation particularly with the neighboring countries."
The relationship with European countries have a long history, he said, adding that the links with the countries of the Black Sea, Caspian, Middle East, Persian Gulf, North Europe or Central Europe should be developed.
Regarding the statements that Turkish banking is more advantageous compared to the 2001 economic crisis in the country, Özince said there is significant capital volume at present. "For instance, İşbank ranks among the top in global rankings according to capital and equity capital. We had the chance to increase our financial power during the 2001 crisis. We renewed risk management and our organizational structures. We learned to operate more efficiently."
However, there might be problems in global scale in the upcoming term, he said. "Turkey may face some impacts. There is a dramatic increase in non-performing loans. It is not only the problems of the ones that are unable to pay. Banks that cannot receive their money back will face tough times as they cannot keep deposits, either. We hope that our banks will have the enough power to overcome the problem."
"Turkey should begin developing its own solutions rather than expecting the cure from foreign investors," Özince noted. "Turkey should become a productive economy. And Turkish people should be individuals contributing efficiently to the economy."