BERLİN – Referans
The Turkish firms exporting to the European Union, or EU, should really be careful, as the ground is shaky due to the impacts of the global crisis, said managing director of Arçelik, Turkey's biggest maker of household appliances.
Europe is facing tough times due to the impacts of the United States-based crisis, which triggered global oil, food and energy prices, said Aka Gündüz Özdemir, who is also chairman of Durable Consumer Goods Group of Koç Holding, Turkey's biggest conglomerate, which includes Arçelik.
Responding to the journalists during the world's largest Consumer Electronics trade fair, IFA, held in Berlin, Özdemir said, �The United Kingdom is losing blood. Spain is also experiencing the process while Italy is in distress. It is impossible now to survive with the previous cost of living index. Inflation is gradually rising. We feel these developments as we do business in every location of Europe.�
A substantial proportion of Turkey's exports went to the EU countries, therefore the country could not keep away from the impacts, said Özdemir.
�Considering all the data, what is apparent is that the crisis is coming and all companies should be careful. They have to keep a good foreign exchange position,� he said.
Recalling Turkey's 2001 economic crisis, during which significant losses were reported, Özdemir said, �The current account deficit should be managed well. There is no problem with foreign currency reserves at present; however it may create a serious distress if triggered by a crisis.�
In particular, those taking on debt in foreign currency should be careful, said Özdemir.
�Particularly, the firms that export to the EU should be really careful. The ground is not robust. The firms should assess well the opportunities in different markets,� he said.
Sensitivity to the crisis
White goods sales were very sensitive to the crises, said Özdemir, and added, �In terms of crisis, electronics remain better compared to white goods. The white goods sector feels the crisis instantly, and sales come to halt on the fly.�
Despite the economic stagnation, LCD market witnessed growth globally, he noted.
�Europe and the United States grew 30 percent and 50 percent respectively last year,� he said.
During the periods of crises, people were not willing to leave their houses, and therefore prefer to buy television, he said.
�More and more, LCDs are being used as decorative and fashion purposes. For instance, there is an LCD TV on ceiling at my dentist's. Although mobile phone sales shrank 50 percent last year, the LCD market is growing rapidly.�
Arçelik's managing director also commented on the firm's export targets. Arçelik, which used to export to 10 countries in 2001, now exported to 106 countries, said Özdemir, adding that the brand looms large with its prices.
�We produce for a cheap price. We aim to reach exports worth 2 billion euros in electronics this year,� he said.