Last Friday, I participated in zoom meeting with a global brand. Their Turkey Office sought the opinion of an independent economist upon request from the headquarters. What they meant by independent was an economist who is of equal distance to all political ideologies and parties. That was their description of me when they requested a presentation from me.
I gladly answered the following questions during this 1-hour meeting:
– Will consumption ever decline in Turkey?
– Can the situation of middle-income people be improved?
– What will change after the elections?
– Do you think it’s necessary to make any changes in supply chains?
I answered their questions in the most detailed way possible. I said that the consumption rate could remain stable for another year due to the ever-increasing wages, people’s fear of higher prices, concerns about supply, and low interest rates.
Frankly, I wondered why they asked about the middle-income earners because this brand’s products should now be classified as luxury goods due to additional customs duties and increasing foreign exchange rates. I told them that this question is irrelevant to Turkey, since the only luxury that people in Turkey could enjoy using their money is to spend it on luxury shoes, bags, clothes, and restaurants. I also know that the brand has been increasingly growing its profits in Turkey. Seeing that they were not completely satisfied with my answer, I reminded them of a survey conducted in the OECD countries, according to which, more than 70% of Turkish citizens see themselves as middle income earners even though 49% of the population actually remain at lower middle, middle and upper middle-income level. Turkey was ranked first in ratings determined according to this survey.
“What Will Happen After the Elections?”
Expressing that the current economic policies in Turkey will not entirely change after the elections, but the monetary policy could soften a little, I also added that the main problem is that the world is rapidly moving away from liberal democracy, that Russia may try to invade Ukraine completely, and further conflict might be expected after the US elections. All of these could affect regional politics as much as the elections in Turkey.
The most important question was perhaps the last one. A report by McKinsey issued at the end of 2020 shows that supply chains will be restructured in pharmaceutical industry, leather, clothing, footwear, and white goods sectors. So, I told the brand officials that they should invest in Turkey considering its convenient geographical location and proximity to the EU. Reminding that some of the brands such as Nestlé, Ford, Mercedes, Roche, Coca-Cola, Siemens, and Renault have been operating in Turkey for almost 100 years, I concluded my presentation by strongly emphasizing the fact that Turkey has a bright future ahead.
I hope my presentation will help this global brand increase its operations in Turkey.