Turkish president says interest rates in Turkey are too high

Speaking at joint meeting with B20, L20 Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterates his call for lower interest rates in Turkey, says current levels block investment opportunities in country

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan renewed his call for lower interest rates on Sunday, saying they were too high to encourage investment and entrepreneurship, an argument likely to unnerve investors already worried about central bank independence.

Erdogan has repeatedly called for lower rates to spur growth, equating higher financing costs with treason.

"In Turkey, the interest rates are high. Our rates are not those in the West, where they are low," Erdogan told a group of business and economic leaders at a labour market forum as part of the G20 meeting in Turkey's coastal province of Antalya.

"First you have to reduce the cost of money. As long as the cost of money is on the rise, you can neither find young businessmen nor young businesswomen," he said, as the central bank governor, Erdem Basci, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde looked on.

The AK Party founded by Erdogan recovered its single-party majority in a snap election on November 1.