President Erdoğan meets with Turkish Industry and Business Association delegation

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with a TÜSİAD delegation headed by Chairman of the Board of Directors Erol Bilecik. (AA Photo)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday hosted a delegation from the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) at the presidential complex in Ankara to discuss current issues in the Turkish economy.

The delegation was headed by Chairman of the Board of Directors Erol Bilecik, and included President of TÜSİAD High Advisory Council Tuncay Özilhan, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Ali Koç, Simone Kaslowski and Murat Özyeğin.

A statement by TÜSİAD following the meeting said the leaders discussed Turkey's financial policies, budget, exchange rate stability, inflation, employment, current account deficit, and the investment environment and relations with the European Union.

"Turkey's economy has the strength to overcome any challenge. We are ready to cooperate to take the necessary steps as the business world," TÜSİAD said on Twitter after the meeting with Erdoğan.

Earlier on Thursday, Erdoğan said that his sensitivity regarding high interest rates remains the same but the Central Bank is independent in its decisions. Speaking at the general assembly of the Confederation of Turkish Tradesman and Craftsman (TESK) in Ankara, he reiterated his view that high interest rates harm business owners, fuel higher inflation and hamper growth.

"TÜSİAD is saying, the interest rates are too high," Erdoğan said. "I'm also telling them let's bring down the high interest rates."

Turkey's Central Bank (CBRT) on Thursday raised its benchmark one-week repo interest rate by 625 basis points from 17.75 percent to 24 percent.

Following the CBRT's announcement, the Turkish lira strengthened to 6.0151 against the U.S. dollar from a 6.45 level, gaining nearly 5 percent. The currency rate later stabilized around 6.20 with lira's gains at some 2.2 percent.

The committee said that a "more significant rebalancing trend" was observed in Turkey's economic activity and that external demand "remained strong" with an accelerated slowdown in domestic demand.

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