Türkiye's new economy chief pledges to "return to rational ground"

  • World
  • Monday, 05 Jun 2023

ANKARA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Türkiye's newly appointed Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Sunday that the country has no choice but to return to "rational ground" in its economic policies.

Simsek said in the handover ceremony alongside his predecessor Nureddin Nebati that the main goal of the government is to increase social welfare.

"Transparency, consistency, predictability and compliance with international norms will be our basic principles in achieving this goal," Simsek said, underlining that it is vital in the medium term to reduce inflation to single digits, increase predictability, and accelerate the structural transformation that will reduce the current account deficit.

"Our main policy will support the central bank in the fight against inflation through the fiscal policy and structural reforms to be implemented," he explained.

The Turkish minister stressed that macro-financial stability would be a priority in dealing with increasing global challenges and geopolitical tensions.

Establishing fiscal discipline and ensuring price stability for sustainable high growth will be his main goals, Simsek said, adding that the ministry would start the medium-term financial studies in no time.

Simsek, who served as finance minister and deputy prime minister between 2009 and 2018, was highly regarded by financial markets.

The reappointment of Simsek, a former Merrill Lynch economist, is seen as a sign that Türkiye could resume more orthodox economic policies.

High inflation and depreciation of the Turkish currency lira, which has undermined the citizens' purchasing power and spiked the cost of living, are at the heart of the country's economic woes for the past few years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had defended unconventional economic policies supporting low-interest rates in the hope of boosting economic growth and employment.

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