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Turkey Turns to E-Finance to Fight Shadow Economy

Turkey’s Minister of Finance spoke at a press conference last week to announce the nation’s five-year action plan to boost transparency and fight the shadow economy within the Turkish Revenue Administration, a feat in which digital finance and procurement practices will play a significant role.

Reports say Mehmet Şimşek detailed the five-year plan and outlined goals to increase electronic procurement activities in the nation. The venture, he said, would include e-invoicing and e-billing within the online tourism booking and health sectors, including within the pharmaceutical distribution and sales market.

He added that the government will also aim to strengthen Turkey’s e-Archive system to increase audit measures on online commerce, and to boost online tracking of petroleum sales through e-billing services.

In addition to digital payment and billing measures, Şimşek said the plan will also look to establish tracking systems for the supply chain of health devices, imported cosmetics and land transports, and establish a streamlined payment system for import duty audits.

In addition to reduced spending, federal e-procurement practices have been shown to increase transparency within the governments that use them. The World Bank has paid particularly close attention to how digitization of government activities, especially procurement, can benefit nations. A recent report by the group outlined findings of the nation of Georgia’s recent implementation of e-invoicing and e-procurement measures, finding that they led to greater transparency of the government’s public procurement projects, significantly reducing the risk of corruption. According to reports, Transparency International is just one of the global organizations praising Georgia and the World Bank’s government digitization initiative.

Turkey’s initiative to increase the digitization of financial activities in the government may similarly lead to increase transparency and a reduction in the nation’s shadow economy.

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