As in the rest of the world, 2017 was unsettled in Turkey. Central banks, elections, politicians and the strong performance of the US Dollar against other currencies played a determining role in the global markets. We entered the year with Donald Trump becoming the US president, and we soon felt the effects of his radical decisions. Other highlights of 2017 were the spike in commodity prices, the rise in interest rates in the US, which in turn impacted on interest rates in other markets, and the exchange rate escalation of the US Dollar against the Turkish Lira.
While the government’s measures to support economic growth in Turkey had a concrete impact, the rise in unemployment, inflation and foreign exchange rates were some of the most discussed and distressing issues of the year. 2017, which started with a referendum, soon felt the effect of the surge in the US Dollar exchange rate.
However, despite the uncertainties in the markets in 2017, for Aksa, the year was rich with developments that made us proud, both financially and in terms of our corporate culture and ethical values. Once again, Aksa won first place in the eighth Corporate Governance Awards, organized by the Turkish Corporate Governance Association.
Aksa Acrylic came first for the second time in the competition which assesses companies listed in the Borsa Istanbul Corporate Governance Index, and advanced its corporate governance rating from 95.98 to 96.32, thereby creating an example and an inspiration.
Furthermore, our sustainability work was rewarded with three awards by Mercomm Galaxy and LACP Spotlight, two of the world’s leading programs. Aksa Acrylic won the gold medal at the Spotlight award program, organized by the League of American Communication Professionals (LACP), and was 30th on the list of the World’s Best 100 Communication Materials. Our sustainability report received a bronze medal in the Online Sustainability Reports category of the Mercomm Galaxy Awards.
Another accolade was to be included on the highest rungs of the İSO 500 list. Our company, the largest acrylic fiber producer in the world, achieved 44th place on the list of Turkey’s 500 Largest Industry Institutions. Aksa also came 96th on the Fortune 500 list, which lists companies according to their net sales.
Another achievement that lefts its mark on 2017 was the selection of Aksa as the winner of the Platinum Awards, presented as a result of the research carried out by the Istanbul Textile and Raw Material Exporters Union (İTHİB) to companies with exports over US$25 million.
Despite all the uncertainties in 2017, we realized that we needed more flexible and short-term decision-making structures in all our businesses. We, the Aksa family, believe this is more than just a requirement but also the new order of a healthier business structure, and accordingly we constantly aim to improve our corporate governance work. No matter what the market conditions, we do not forgo our solution-oriented approach, and strive to keep our strategic capability at the highest level possible, together with our products and services. I would like to thank all our employees, who are the architects of our success, our shareholders, customers, financiers and all our stakeholders, and wish them another year full of success.
Mehmet Ali Berkman
Chairman of the Board of Directors