Duvar English – Anadolu Agency

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said that Turkey is waging a struggle for political and economic independence, as he commented on the economic situation of the country amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Albayrak also said that Turkey is one of the countries that were the least affected by the pandemic in terms of employment and growth.

Turkey is seeking to end 2020 with a positive economic growth rate despite negative forecasts due to the coronavirus, he said, adding that the Turkish economy is projected to post growth in the first quarter of this year.

While many countries are expected to see a serious recession in the second quarter of this year, Turkey will be less affected compared to others, Albayrak noted.

Pointing to Turkey’s “Economic Stability Shield” package unveiled in March to help companies cope with the economic fallout of the virus, Albayrak said the value of the relief package has reached 260 billion Turkish Liras ($38 billion) so far.

Albayrak recalled that with the multiplier effect, the size of the bailout package had hit nearly 600 billion liras ($89 billion), equivalent to 10%-11% of the country’s GDP.

He said that normalization after the coronavirus crisis will start in Turkey as of June, like the rest of the world.

“We are entering a period where gradual buoyancy will start in exports, trade, tourism and the domestic market in June and July,” he said.

“Turkey will pursue policies based on production and borrowing with local currencies,” Albayrak added.

He noted that the country will take steps to ensure that local markets and domestic demand are rapidly revived in the post-pandemic era.

“We will announce incentive packages to normalize the domestic market,” Albayrak said.

Saying that Turkey is conducting talks to establish swap lines with many countries, he said: “We should consider swap matters in the context of trade in local currencies,” which the country prioritizes.