Simsek: "With or without the IMF, Turkey will continue its progress"
State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek yesterday visited the Gaziantep Industrial Zone and attended a conference on the world economic crisis held by Gaziantep University. World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Shigeo Katsu was also present at the conference. Afterwards, speaking to reporters, Simsek said that Turkey would continue to progress with or without the International Monetary Fund by fulfilling reforms and preserving tight monetary policy and budget discipline. Asked about the possibility of a standby agreement with the Fund, he said, "The government will do anything to benefit Turkey. We are eager for any program that could cushion the negative impact of the global economic crisis on Turkey's economy and at the same time strengthens the reform process. We earlier carried out important economic reforms without the IMF in areas such as social security and the energy market. We have no prejudice against a new agreement with the Fund. The government will do the right thing for Turkey." Simsek also said, "There is no country which is immune to the global crisis. Turkey's financial system and banks are currently in good condition. If liquidity problems arise, the government will provide banks with the necessary funds." Speaking at the conference, Katsu said that the World Bank places great importance on Turkey, adding that Turkey is the number four country using the bank's funds.