Friday, June 25, 2010

EconNews Roundup

The Turks were at Vienna's door more than 4 centuries ago; now, it is the other way around.

Are EU's woes starting to hit Turkish exports? Unfortunately, that's also the impression from yesterday's release of June real sector confidence indices.

The dichotomy between the rating agencies' and markets' view of Turkey has been a topic of discussion for a long time. I personally find the hole debate redundant: I don't want to defend the rating agencies, but there is still quite a bit of political and economic uncertainty in Turkey as well as the need for structural reform, as I have a argued a lot in my columns. As a ratings agency, you need to err on the side of caution, as you cannot change ratings too often. Besides, a comparison with Russia is not that useful, especially when that country has been affected so much by oil prices. But it is true that Turkey does look better than many of its peers with a better sovereign rating right now.

Istanbul's tight grade-A office space market. But I think that the last paragraph of the article is pointing at a more binding constraint in terms of attracting foreign companies: I have heard too many foreign CEOs complain on how tough it is to get permission for their foreign workers.

Women not represented on Turkey's boards, but given the international trend with this and women's position in all other aspects of society, such as politics and even labor force participation, I would say they are not doing too bad in board representation.

Adana has the highest province jobless rate. Riddle of the day: Why do you think that the lowest unemployment rates are in Gumushane, Bayburt and Ardahan?

World Bank Turkey head urges Turkey to make labor markets more flexible. He does have a point, but I see labor market flexibility as a necessary (but not sufficient) condition to ease Turkey's labor market woes- increasing women's labor force participation and training workers more suited to the demand of the private sector are equally important.

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