Dear Stakeholders and Employees,
Our country has experienced a year which was heavily influenced by global economic factors and regional socio-political conditions. The election race started in the March of 2014 and ended in the November of 2015. In normal conditions, there are no elections in sight until 2019. The negative developments in our region and the growth concerns for the global economy continue.
In light of these developments, our expectations within the business world are that the economy will be given more importance and that structural reforms will continue. The fact that a new phase of negotiations has started with the EU after 10 years is pleasing. The structural reforms done in the past 10 years have strengthened our economy. The achievements that we accomplished have kept us steady through the economic crisis and the shaky period thereafter. Now, the economic balance is being recreated throughout the world. Some problems were solved and some solutions came up short. In this environment, we will undoubtedly make greater achievements and reserve the place we deserve in the world economy. We only have to believe in the power and potential of Turkey and work together towards this goal.
The world economy could not match the strong growth that was desired through 2015. The signals hinting that the US economy was going back on track was good to have but despite all the important steps taken, the European economy’s recovery was only limited. The pressure to increase interest rates from the Federal Reserve System (Fed) have continued to affect countries, especially developing countries with a high need for external financing.
Fed started its expected interest hikes before the start of 2016. Now, new increases and their possible effects on the economy are being monitored. This remains a widely discussed topic, especially in countries such as Turkey who have a high need for external financing. With the start of the new year, growth concerns regarding China and the decreasing oil prices are also being closely monitored. These two subjects give us clues regarding the growth and the direction of the world economy.
Despite the external conditions being how they are and two general elections in a span of five months, Turkey still managed a 3.4% growth in the first nine months of 2015. This growth rate is positive when taken in context but Turkey has the power to do more. We have done it before and we can do it again.
In this upcoming period, we have to vitalize our investments. With an approach that will increase industrial productivity, added-value and exports, we can increase our growth as well. With a society open to innovation, a dynamic and young population, market advantages provided by the wide geographical reach of our country which also involves other countries as well, we easily have more than enough potential.
At Zorlu Group, we keep making our dreams reality through any condition in line with our long term strategic plan. With over 60 companies and close to 27.000 employees, we touch the lives of people in over 150 countries and create added-value for our country and society. All of our success is based on our imagination, our confidence to make our dreams the reality, our innovation, our belief in research and development and our entrepreneurial spirit. We know that the future belongs to those who can see the rapid changes in the world, those who adjust to them and those that have strong dreams about the future and are willing to make them real.
For the Zorlu Group, who has based its operations on this mentality, 2015 has been a year where we started to reap the fruits of many investments. With our companies operating in the fields of textile, consumer electronics, major appliances and information technologies, energy, real estate, mining and metallurgy, we have taken strong steps towards becoming a global group while providing added-value to Turkey. As Zorlu Holding and Group Companies, we have kept on the community contributions in the fields of culture, art, environment and sports non-stop and especially in the field of education through the Mehmet Zorlu Foundation.
Today, we keep on adding added-value to our country, creating permanent value for our employees, suppliers and shareholders, just like we did yesterday. In the period ahead, we will keep moving forward by increasing our contributions to the Turkish economy through new investments and creating jobs. Through activities and events we will organize and sponsor, we will keep contributing towards the goal of a better world.
I extend my sincerest thank you to our stakeholders who have helped us bring our dreams to life and have made Zorlu Group one of the biggest groups in Turkey.