Top business association: slow democracies foster slow economic growth

Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TusIAD) President Muharrem Yilmaz warned that slowly developing democracies also experience slow economic growth while speaking at the 10th General Assembly Meeting of the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TuRKONFED) in Istanbul on saturday.

“Democracies that have reached a certain threshold can experience sustainable growth and prosperity. In slow democracies economic growth is also slow,” said Yilmaz, who also emphasized that attaining full membership in the European union is a mutual goal of TusIAD and TuRKONFED. “We cannot deny that the Eu membership process has brought dynamic reforms in terms of Turkey’s political, economic and social progress,” said the TusIAD president.

“We also should emphasize that [respect for] the rule of law and judicial independence are the most important conditions for a [healthy] business and investment environment,” continued Yilmaz.

“We want to ensure the protection of the peace process and bring it into a state of permanence,” said TuRKONFED President suleyman Onatca, referring to the ongoing settlement process between the government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “We don’t want to return to the days when our citizens were excluded and mistreated due to their mother tongue, religion, beliefs or identity,” continued Onatca.

Earlier this month at a meeting in Ankara, Yilmaz underlined the link between developed democracies and developed economies, saying that the 25 most developed countries in the world also enjoy the most developed democracies. President Abdullah Gul, who was in attendance, praised TusIAD for its contributions to Turkey’s European union accession process.

In January, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoGan accused Yilmaz and TusIAD — one of Turkey’s leading business organizations — of treason after the association’s president publicly stated that foreign capital would not come to Turkey amid political turmoil resulting from severe corruption allegations against the government.