Executive Search in Turkey – 2019 Outlook

Tough Year Ahead for Turkey

The Turkish economy has grown very fast in the past years and survived a currency and debt crisis in 2018 created by a Trump threat to double tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum.  Sustained job creation outside agriculture, which accelerated in the 2010s, has improved well-being, notably in less-developed regions

Macroeconomic policies have been strongly expansionary since the coup attempt in mid-2016.

Business sector modernization is key to rebalancing the economy and improving social cohesion.  This calls for improved export performance while maintaining business growth as well as increasing available credit.

Large numbers of successful, medium-sized firms have emerged.   Formalisation, digitalisation and deleveraging are key to improving firm performance.   The government has committed to bringing Turkey’s framework for doing business closer to international good practice.

Comprehensive education, governance and regulatory reforms would foster domestic convergence and social cohesion

Geographic Location

Turkey benefits greatly from its location at the cross-road of two continents and is an ideal center for businesses looking for a location at the heart of Euro-Asia.

The country provides excellent access to CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent States, formerly the USSR) as well as to Middle Eastern and North African countries


Turkey has a GDP of US$800 billion but annual growth has fallen from 7+% in 2017 to a forecast 2.3% in 2019.

It has a population 80M with a high percentage of young people, almost 40%, at a median age of 31

  • Foreign Direct Investment: US$ 12.5 bill. / 41,397 Foreign Companies
  • Import: Russia (10.4%) China (10.3%) Germany (9.2%) USA (5.3%) Italy (5%)
  • Export: Germany (9.6%) Iraq (6.9%) UK (6.3%) Italy (4.5%) France (4.1%) USA (4%)

Economic Executive Summary

The government’s measures aimed at reducing prices, supporting growth and the ailing corporate sector have created the growth and inflation dynamics seen in the short term.

However, medium-term trends of growth and inflation are likely to be TRY-negative. The economy could face temporary recessionary pressures in 2019 amid high inflation of 20+%.

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