If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it

If we lived in an EU member country, we would have been lying on our backs in peace, knowing that we’ve accomplished so many things, already making retirement plans as a citizen of a nation with pretty low population rate. However, sitting idly, lying on our backs is not our type of behaviour. That’s why I’m extremely thankful that I am living in Turkey.

Obviously, having a well-deserved rest is not something to be ashamed of, but we don’t have the luxury to do nothing for two months just like they do in developed countries. We are a nation that must work all the time. That’s the way it has always been. I feel excited when I look back upon the past as well as the future and see the things that were once pursued and left uncompleted, and the things that need to be accomplished at whatever cost. Things that are waiting to be done are making us all more dynamic.

We are about to enter an era where making projections will become harder than ever. Economics only or the data we possess will not help us on our path to create a clear vision for our future. Political, sociological, demographic, and technological developments must be taken into account as well. When preparing a future vision, it is important to know where you stick the needle of the compass. This is called “finding the right reference point”. The nature of this reference point you will choose should be as stable as possible. Let’s say you take ‘technological development’ as your reference point. This may lead to severe mistakes when making future projections, because technological developments have open-ended natures and might evolve faster than we think.

Similarly, in the previous period, financial developments have caused significant deviations in future forecast given the variable rate of economic growth and other economic factors.
For instance, the fact that while the GDP value of Turkey represented 1.3% of the world economy in 1985, this percentage remains almost intact in 2015; even falling from 3.6% to 2.4% among other emerging markets might be demoralizing to begin with for those making future forecasts. Besides, considering that Turkey no longer ranks, since 2010 to be specific, among the top 15 countries with the highest industrial outputs, I think our job to make the most accurate possible projection might be a little bit harder than we thought.

“Waiting for the Flagship of Exports to come up with a new plan…”

We highly expect Turkish Exporters ‘Assembly (TIM) President Mr. İsmail Gülle to provide us with a brand new “Export Strategy” in due course. I think I, too, will be working with them, giving them as many contributions I as possibly can on the route to a new strategy. After all, I should offer my help to Professor Kerem Alkin, the new secretary-general of TIM. Accordingly, governmental bodies too are strongly advised to revise their targets based on current realities.

I wish Turkey could maintain economic growth like Germans, South Koreans or even Americans do. However, the sectors in those countries are divided in a balanced manner. They have much respect for Construction and Real Estate as well just like they respect the industrial sector, because the owners and operators of Construction and Real Estate sectors have already proven that they are perfectly capable of creating value added activities and products. The only difference between them and us is that they work or produce based on needs or demands.

Official statistics are a must when it comes to make an accurate determination of needs. Unfortunately, it’s extremely scarce to find satisfactory statistics measuring none of the sectors. Although the reports prepared by associations or unions for their members shed some light on what’s been going on industries, researchers do need statistics prepared using sound and universally acceptable standards.

Maybe the most useful work that the Government can offer in 2019 would be that they would push CBRT, Turkish Ministries and TurkStat to prepare official statistics including energy efficiency, distribution of housing stock to general standards, different parameters in all sectors, even demographic measurements.

You know what they say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Bearing in this advice, always in mind, we should be provided with the accurate data to help us take the right actions in 2019.