UPDATE – Turkey working on broad 'employment shield' package


By Belgin Yakisan Mutlu and Elif Ferhan Yesilyurt

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey is working on a comprehensive "employment shield" package to support jobs in the face of the coronavirus fallout, said the country's treasury and finance minister on Friday.

Berat Albayrak told journalists in Istanbul, the country’s commercial capital, that the issue of employment will top Turkey’s normalization efforts.

"For this package, being prepared by the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry, we also are contributing as much as we can in coordination," he noted.

"We’re doing work that will provide relief to the markets with a package we can call an employment shield," he added.

The government will first manage the normalization process in the markets, followed by the stabilization process, he added.

With new initiatives to accelerate the country's development, Albayrak stressed that Turkey will manage this period in an integrated and balanced way with the legs of exports, domestic market demand, and tourism.

"We see swap as one of the important normalization tools to eliminate the pressure of third currency on trade balance," he said.

He said, during the Justice and Development (AK) Party rule, for the first time, interest rates have decreased, contributing positively to the recovery of the economy in the real sector.

Albayrak added that in an environment where dollarization is reversed, Turkey will be faced with a fascinating balance sheet in the upcoming period.

– Downside of risk in inflation

Stating that there is a downside risk rather an upside risk in the government's annual inflation target, Albayrak said: "I think that an 8.5% target for inflation can still be achieved for the end of the year. We see this downward trend for July by looking at both the reports of the central bank and our research unit."

If the the pandemic did not occur, perhaps Turkey would have entered a growth path of over 5% for the first time, he said, adding the current balance, inflation and interest rates were in a very sound balance.

Albayrak concluded the government has already begun to have very serious negotiations with institutions in many major procurement and production points in the world in recent weeks.

* Written by Aysu Bicer