Archive

  • November 2018 (3)
  • October 2018 (3)
  • September 2018 (3)
  • August 2018 (4)
  • July 2018 (2)
  • June 2018 (4)
  • May 2018 (3)
  • April 2018 (5)
  • March 2018 (3)
  • February 2018 (5)
  • January 2018 (4)
  • December 2017 (4)

    Turkey needs more GVCs
    Güven Sak, PhD 24 February 2018
    Turkey’s industrial transformation started in the early 1980s. Unlike many of its Middle Eastern neighbors, Turkey has no natural resources, so it had to organize its society around producing things others might want to buy. And we did. Our per capita GDP went from $1,500 in 1980 to more than $10,000 in 35 years. An agricultural backwater became an urban, industrial, and fairly market-driven place. So far so good. Yet if the idea is to converge with the rich world, Turkey is in trouble. It needs to renew its industrial base. To do that, it needs global value chains (GVCs). It now seems however, that GVCs no longer want to come to Turkey. Why not? [More]
    Turkey needs to increase its ‘readiness’ for future of production
    Selin Arslanhan Memiş 19 February 2018
    One of today’s most important tasks for Turkey is to increase its level of ‘readiness’ for the future of production, as startups might be used as transformation tools.New technologies have not only changed the way in which manufacturing and R&D is carried out but also corporate behavior and business models.Last month, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published a report on “readiness” in terms of the future of production. The report uses a benchmarking framework and a dataset as a way of understanding the current level of “readiness” in countries across the world.Two different components shape the assessment: “Structure of production” and “drivers of production.” “Structure of production” indicates the countries’ current production baseline, while “drivers of production” comprise the key [More]
    Higher growth, higher misery in Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 17 February 2018
    Turkey’s economy grew by 11.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017. That’s the highest figure since 2014. Yet the misery index, found simply by summing up the inflation rate and unemployment rate, has reached 21.2 percent. That figure, in turn, is at its highest since 2004. So higher growth has made Turkey even more miserable. Why? [More]
    Turkey and NATO: 45 years ago, 45 years later
    Güven Sak, PhD 10 February 2018
    NATO was established in 1949. Turkey and Greece became members in 1952. And if there was no NATO at the time, Turks would have had to invent it. Russia was breathing down Turkey’s neck, and it needed Western allies to keep it in check. And Turkey paid for that protection in its blood. A 5,000-strong Turkish brigade shipped off to the Korean War in 1950. 741 of them died. Yet these days people keep asking me “Why are Turkey and NATO growing apart?” Are they really? I don’t think so. Let me elaborate. [More]
    Russian-Turkish relations and the dark underbelly of Cryptocurrency
    Güven Sak, PhD 03 February 2018
    Russian-Turkish relations were in the news again last week. But this time it was different. It was not about s-400s, not sanctions or secondary sanctions, nor even about the Syrian Civil War. It was about bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Could this also be considered something sinister, as Russia and Turkey as partners in crime? Could cryptocurrencies be considered a new tool for busting American sanctions? Could this be the premature end to bitcoin? Let me elaborate. [More]
    One global economy, two visions
    Feride İnan 29 January 2018
    The World Economic Forum's 48th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, kicked off with copious measures of optimism and caution. On one side, IMF upped its global growth projections for 2018 and 2019 right before the meetings began. Also prior to Davos was an announcement by Apple, the most valuable company in the world, that it would contribute $350 billion to the US economy, creating 20,000 new jobs in the next five years. Both these developments set a tone of optimism for the meetings. At Davos, CEOs cheered and clapped the US tax reform, companies declared their goodwill and vowed to increase workers’ wages among other concessions, envisioning an ever-stronger American economy that would strengthen global growth along with it.On the other end, IMF director Christine Lagarde appeared cir [More]
    Is Turkey going back to square one after 40 years?
    Güven Sak, PhD 20 January 2018
    Turkey has transformed itself from a sleepy agrarian society to a dynamic industrial country. Much of it is thanks to Özal’s reforms that started the transformation process in the 1980s. Then the Customs Union with the EU in 1996 turned Turkey into a mid-tech industrial country. The economic transformation of Turkey has so far been a success story in terms of improving the global competitiveness of the country. Not anymore. As of 2016, Turkey’s competitiveness has declined to lower than global average. Why? Let me elaborate. [More]
    The year 2007 was a perfect storm for Turkey
    Güven Sak, PhD 13 January 2018
    “Countries don’t disappear, it has been said, but sometimes they do encounter perfect storms.” wrote Jorge Castaneda, a Mexican politician and academic, the other day in the NYT, “these do not threaten their existence, yet they can represent major challenges to their welfare and integrity.”2007 was such a year for Turkey. Let me explain why this is important today. [More]
    A tale of three countries: Turkey, China and Iran
    Güven Sak, PhD 06 January 2018
    I was in Tehran right after President Rouhani was first elected. The hotel rooms were fully booked, with businesspeople and journalists from across the world. The story was that Iran was deciding to return to our world from the parallel universe the country has exiled itself to around 40 years ago. There is now discontent on Iranian streets. I see this as frustration with the pace of the reform process. [More]
    In the Dollar Turks Trust
    Güven Sak, PhD 30 December 2017
    I was very surprised the other day when asked whether Turkey would “clam up” economically in 2018, meaning whether it would close in on itself. To give a bit of a background, Turkey started to open up with the Özal reforms in the 1980s, and the process reached its apex in 1989, with the total liberalization of capital account. Ever since, “opening up” to Turk is synonymous to getting freer and richer. “Clamming up” would be the opposite. Let me be very clear: Economically, this is unthinkable. Politically, it would be a suicide. Why? [More]