Turkey plans to act on food import restrictions to fight inflation

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci says as political uncertainty over general elections disappears, Turkish growth will accelerate

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said, “The market does not like elections.” According to Zeybekci, there are speculators, manipulators and brokers who are trying to convert a politically uncertain period into opportunity and use fluctuations for income. 

In line with these comments, the Economy Minister said he is predicting the markets to start pricing a stable election period in the coming weeks. “We will see that 'froth' disappear within 10 days as the election results become previsible” he added.

After the elections on June 7, Zeybekci expects the Turkish economic growth to accelerate and leave room for interest rate cuts. The Economy Minister said he predicted growth to reach above 1.5 percent in the second quarter, adding a 4 percent government growth target for this year remained attainable. 

Although Zeybekci emphasized high food prices and the weak lira are temporary, he said the government is currently working on some plans to tackle inflation. According to the Economy Minister this includes lifting some food import restrictions, without hurting domestic producers. "(But) we will not allow imports of wheat, barley, meat or processed foods, and we will not need it anyway. This year's wheat yield will be at least 5 million tons above our need" Zeybekci added.

The Economy Minister also commented on Standard & Poor’s’ (S&P) credit review, which is going to be on Friday. He said he expected S&P to keep its credit rating unchanged and predicted that agencies will upgrade Turkey’s credit ratings after the June election. 

Similar comments regarding the Turkish economy came from the Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Tuesday. Şimşek said the current levels of high inflation are temporary and added the lira will get stronger after the elections.

TRTWorld and agencies