Message From Chairman
2020 started with a positive outlook globally, with the contribution of developments such as the completion of the first phase of the US-China trade agreement and the support of central banks for monetary expansion.
The unemployment rate in the US had fallen to 3.5%, the lowest level since the 1970s. As a sign of the acceleration of growth in the European region, PMI data was realized about 2 percentage points above December 2019, in January-February 2020. Signs of recovery were also striking in the economies of developing countries. However, the global economy and social life were deeply shaken with the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic that started in China and spread throughout the world. With the epidemic turning into a pandemic, the functioning of global supply chains has been disrupted. While serious production cuts occurred worldwide due to mandatory measures and closures, there was contraction in consumption and the majority of companies were affected by the pandemic. At the same time, fragility in financial markets escalated. While the prices of risky or directly affected assets such as oil fell rapidly, the prices of commodities such as gold and silver, which are considered safer investments, rose. Although there was a global recovery with the easing of the pandemic in the summer months and the relaxation of the measures, the losses in the first half of the year could not be fully compensated. According to the latest estimates of the IMF, the world economy was expected to contract by 3.5% in 2020. It is estimated that there will be deterioration in the employment market due to factors such as the employment-creating sectors such as service and tourism being much more affected by the pandemic and the acceleration of digital transformation and the replacement of the workforce by automation in the production processes.
The effects of the pandemic were also felt seriously in our country. Despite the 4.5% growth in the first quarter of 2020, there was a 10.3% contraction in the second quarter with a spike in the number of cases. With the effect of the measures taken and the support packages implemented, a growth of 6.3% and 5.9% was achieved in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, and a growth of 1.8% was achieved at the end of the year. In today’s world where a stable macro-outlook is needed more than ever, high inflation and fragility in financial markets, in addition to the low growth rate in recent years, make the short-medium-term outlook unpredictable. Therefore, it is crucial to implement structural reforms that will enable predictability, steps to improve the investment environment, measures to reduce volatility in macro indicators, and sustainable development models.
Along with the pandemic, a rapid change in social life and ingrained habits was witnessed. It has been observed that people are capable to adapt to changes that will take many years in a matter of weeks. While social distance and remote working have become a part of life, it has been understood that working remotely can be carried out successfully. The importance of adapting quickly to changing conditions and new technologies and being able to cope with uncertainties has emerged once again. At Akkök Group, I believe that we have managed this process well and that we are successfully adapting to the new world order. In the coming period, investments and technologies that will make a difference and expand our value chain and digitalization will continue to be among our priority agenda items.
At Akkök, we continued our growth in this difficult year and our combined turnover exceeded TL 17 billion. We are taking steps in line with the goals that we can create added value for our country and our stake-holders in all sectors in which we operate, especially in chemistry, energy and real estate. We continue to make our investments in line with these targets, and we are working on company acquisitions and mergers that will contribute to the country’s exports or new technologies. I would like to thank all our business partners and employees who have contributed significantly to our goals even during this difficult period.
Raif Ali Dinçkök