Some 120 American investors attended the 13th edition of the Türkiye Investment Conference held in New York City on Sept. 19, showing the strong interest in the Turkish economy from US companies.
The event was organized by the Türkiye-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) and hosted by Goldman Sachs.
The interest from American investors was so huge that after the conference, rooms on the 43rd floor at the Goldman Sachs’ headquarters were allocated for talks between Turkish and American businesspeople, said Nail Olpak, the president of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
Meanwhile, in the speech he delivered at the Investment Conference, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Türkiye remains a safe haven for investors.
“While enhancing our relations with the U.S. on the political level, we also need to diversify our cooperation in the economic field,” Erdoğan said.
There is great potential between the two countries, from new and groundbreaking technologies to critical sectors, from innovation to manufacturing and from artificial intelligence to cyber security, he added, noting that the bilateral trade volume has grown by 1.5 times over the last decade.
Mehmet Simsek went to the investors conferences armed with what he claims is a clear mandate by President Erdogan to execute the economic stabilization program without constraints from the Palace:
“The president’s full support for our inflation control policy is the most important factor that increases confidence in our policy framework. I believe that these meetings will contribute to the flow of funds into Türkiye.”
Stating that inflation is unacceptably high, Şimşek said the government has set a one-year transition period, and that the disinflation process may start next June.
The minister also said that credit growth has slowed down significantly, and that the Feb. 6 earthquake has put an additional burden on the Treasury. Şimşek emphasized that they will continue with a rule-based, predictable fiscal policy.
Meanwhile, at home CBRT gave Simsek a strong assist by hiking rates by 500 basis points to 230%. The hike was in line with consensus expectations, but far beyond what most economists would have imagined three months ago.
Since the inception of the Program over $1 bn has entered the stock market from international funds, but there was very little interest in the main venue for hot money flows. TL denominated bonds saw a meagre $148 mn bid from internationals in the recent auction. However, some experts claim foreign investment is already trickling in through the swap market.
In the last data week, foreigners sold $208 mn of equities, while buying a tiny $10 mn of bonds.
It will take time to convince skeptical investors the current pace of monetary policy would indeed suppress inflation, for which the 12 and 24 mth forecasts are running at 66% and 44% respectively. The big question of whether President Erodnga will stick with the stabilization question has been partly answered by his benign neglect of monetary tightening, but in New York he showed no interest to improve relations with the West, stating that he trusts Russia as much as the West, and sticking to Turkey’s hardline in Cyprus. Also, a critical litmus test of Turkey’s relations with West, namely ratification of the Swedish membership to NATO is yet to be completed by the Grand Assembly, with no termin for introduction of legislation.
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