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Turkey needs to improve its image to restore investors’ confidence

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The Turkish economy faces a number of key structural problems and conjectural challenges. However, the main issue that the country must immediately resolve is its poor image abroad and the eroding of confidence in potential investors’ eyes.

Turkey needs to improve its image abroad to revive investors’ confidence in the country and to allow its entrepreneurial dynamism to flourish, a top official from the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), told me this week.

IFC Vice President Dimitris Tsitsiragos said Turkey should focus on restoring its image after a recent tough period.

“Turkey has come a long way since 2000. Its income per capita has nearly tripled in nominal terms, employment has increased, and standards of living have improved across vast parts of the country. The private sector has worked hand in hand with the authorities to achieve this progress, by creating new jobs and providing rising wages. The challenge now is to building on that progress in an uncertain economic and geopolitical landscape,” Tsitsiragos noted.

The IFC is an institution that has been on the ground in Turkey since 1964 so it knows the country very well.

“We consider ourselves ‘local’ in terms of understanding Turkey’s markets, private sector, dynamics and people. We have a chance to see the strengths and challenges from a closer view. But when foreign investors look at Turkey from outside, they see a different picture, especially since the failed coup attempt and the series of bomb attacks. Turkey needs to work on improving these perceptions outside in order to restore investors’ interest. Confidence matters here,” he also added.

According to Tsitsiragos, Turkey should kick off a wide-ranging program to reform the labor market and the judicial system, combat corruption, encourage investment, spur domestic savings, and overhaul the tax system.

“Implementing the plan is urgent, but last year’s........

© Hürriyet Daily News