2.10 Research and Development Activities

2.10.1 Academic Research and Development Activities

In keeping with the importance that the CBRT attaches to academic studies, working papers and research notes in economics prepared by the CBRT staff continued to be posted on the CBRT website. Thirty six publications were added to the CBRT working papers series of peer reviewed research papers written by the CBRT staff members. In addition, another 14 new additions were made to the series of Research Notes in Economics that the CBRT publishes in order to contribute to discussions on economic issues in a timely fashion and to publicize the results of research about the Turkish economy and monetary policy.

Central Bank Review, a peer reviewed journal prioritizing such topics as macro economy, monetary economics, finance and capital markets, banking and financial intermediation, macro and microprudential arrangements, and international economy and finance was published four times by the CBRT.

Meanwhile, articles that were written with contributions of the CBRT staff were published in journals that are listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index.

The Research and Monetary Policy department held seminars as part of the department’s seminar series for the CBRT staff. During these seminars, presentations were given by participants from universities in Turkey and abroad, international organizations, and other central banks.

2.10.2 Research Activities on Structural Economic Developments

The Structural Economic Research Department of the CBRT continued to engage in research on identifying the structural factors that restrain the effectiveness of the monetary policy, to formulate policy proposals within the framework of inter-agency cooperation, and to develop the corporate infrastructure for the work processes the department deals with.

This department’s activities in 2019 may be summed up under four headings: (1) Work carried out within the scope of the Food Committee (2) Work related to meetings with the real sector (3) Research on the Turkish economy and monetary policy (4) Coordination with academic circles.

The Food Committee, secretarial services of which are undertaken by the CBRT, met seven times under the chairmanship of Berat Albayrak, PhD, Minister of Treasury and Finance. Aiming at permanent price stability, the committee concentrated its activities on solving structural and cyclical issues in agricultural and food industries.

Structural and circumstantial measures taken within the scope of Food Committee decisions are designed from a price stability perspective in collaboration with institutions. With its long-term corporate experience on the pricing of food products, the CBRT provided guidance in monitoring food prices and identifying priorities in this field. Those who serve on the committee include top management positions from relevant institutions, and therefore a more solution-oriented cooperation could be established, paving the way for concrete policy measures.

Today, central banks design and implement their monetary policies based on a more diverse and richer set of information and incorporate real sector developments more and more into their decision-making process.

In interactions with the real sector, face to face meetings are held with firms’ senior decision makers. These meetings make it possible to obtain first-hand information on economic activities and decision-making mechanisms of individual firms, and capture the real sector sentiment towards the economy in good time. Information obtained from these meetings helps make better assessments about cyclical economic activity (production and sales, investment, employment, borrowing conditions, prices, and costs). The significance of these meetings lies in developing an understanding of the reasons behind the outlook signaled by indicators and data of economic activity and in monitoring developments that economic models may fail to detect. In 2019, a total of 1,919 firms were visited, of which 906 were manufacturers and 518 were wholesalers and retailers.

Firm visits aim to promote an exchange of views on monetary policy actions, contribute to the CBRT’s communication policy and communicate effectively with the real sector. The views of firms’ decision makers about policy actions and their expectations from the public sector were reported to the CBRT senior management without disclosure of their identities. In 2019, firm visits per regional offices were as follows: 656 in Istanbul, 301 in Izmir, 238 in Ankara, 194 in Adana, 189 in Bursa, and 165 in Samsun.

The Bank conducted analysis on structural issues such as Turkey’s economic growth, productivity, labor markets, foreign trade, public finance, savings, market structure and competition, research and development, entrepreneurship, human capital, education, migration and energy from the standpoints of financial stability and monetary policy. Seventeen new papers written by the staff of the Structural Economic Research Department were added to the Working Papers series and another nine new additions were made to the series of Research Notes. Moreover, nine articles that were written with contributions of the staff of the Structural Economic Research Department were approved to be published in journals that are listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index. These studies were presented to academics and policy makers at various national and international seminars and conferences.

The same department also held 15 seminars as part of the department’s seminar series for the CBRT staff. During these seminars, presentations were made by participants from universities in Turkey and abroad, international organizations, and other central banks.

Detailed work was carried out in order to identify the structural factors that lead to inflation rigidity and persistence, to help work jointly with other relevant agencies and organizations, and to expand the analytical capacities of the CBRT’s technical units. In this regard, new protocols were signed with other agencies and organizations to enable data sharing and collaboration, and access was provided to new datasets that would make a major contribution to policy making.

2.10.3 Research and Development Activities on Banknote Printing

A number of research and development studies were carried out to help improve the banknote printing process.

The New Series Banknote Design Project continued its work. A signature change was made to the 5 Turkish Lira banknote of E9 series, version IV.

To verify its compliance with the ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management standards, the Banknote Printing Plant (BPP) underwent an audit by the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE) on 21-24 October 2019. As a result of the external audit, the BPP’s certifications of ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environmental Management and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management were renewed.

2.10.4 Research and Development Activities on Information Technologies

A large number of projects and infrastructure related works were carried out in Information Technologies (IT). Activities for the reinforcement of cyber security continued.

Software solutions for new Turkish lira and foreign currency tools and software for new security issuance models designed at the request of the Ministry of Treasury and Finance were delivered on time and successfully.

The integration of loan and deposit rates with the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP) was concluded in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice. With this project, various banking data were made accessible on the UYAP platform, enabling rapid access to crucial data for legal proceedings.

A large number of datasets that contribute to decision making were made accessible on the Big Data Platform. The infrastructure for obtaining and processing high-frequency data from external institutions was built to enable real-time analyses.

On the Payment Systems front, EFT‑ESTS system messages were modified in line with the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) regulations, suggestions of the Banks Association of Turkey Working Group and technical needs.

A software for the REAL project that enables the fast compilation, safe storing and effective reporting of real sector data was delivered.

A number of applications were launched to monitor group movements and cash withdrawals among the CBRT’s branches, cash centers and banknote depots in the Cash Management System (CMS).

As part of the Central Accounting Automation System project to integrate accounting systems used at the CBRT’s Head Office and branches and thus enhance system-wide and operational efficiency, applications for Central Payment and Common Liable Service and related subsystems were upgraded.

To provide automation in purchases of goods and services, a Central Purchasing Platform (CPP) was developed.

The Virtual Museum website that was launched to make the cultural heritage owned by the CBRT accessible to a broader audience was updated with a new design and technological infrastructure.

As part of the Banknote Serial Number Tracking Project, “Analytics and Dashboards” were developed using sample datasets obtained from data produced by BPS 2000 banknote processing machines.



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