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Turkish Economy Targets 10th Place Worldwide by 2023 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A money changer counts Turkish lira bills at a currency exchange office in Istanbul. (Reuters)

Ankara – The Turkish government aims to push its economy to the tenth place in the world, and the third in Europe by 2023. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi stated that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report issued last week showed that the Turkish economy has ranked 13th in the world and fifth in Europe.

According to the report, the GDP in Turkey hit $1.51 trillion based on purchasing power, compared with $1.5 trillion in Spain in 2012.

The minister pointed out that the time didn’t help rating agencies to renew speculation about the growth and development of the Turkish economy, noting that some agencies expected a growth of 2 percent in 2017, while others predicted a 2.8 percent, and 3 percent growth, yet, the economy grew by 5 percent in the first quarter.

Zeybekçi expected his country’s economy to grow between 5.1 and 5.5 percent in the second quarter, pointing out that growth would reach 7.5 percent in the third quarter.

According to the IMF report, the projected GDP in Turkey will reach $2.08 trillion by the end of 2017, followed by Italy with $2.3 trillion, France with $2.83 trillion, Britain with $2.91 trillion and Germany with $4.13 trillion. The report also estimated Turkey’s purchasing power in 2017 to stand at $25,780, compared with $16,900 in 2010. Turkey aims to raise the average income per capita from about $10,000 currently to $25,000 in 2023.

The trade volume of the Aegean region, western Turkey during the first half of this year hit about $21 billion. According to the customs department’s data, the value of exports to the Aegean region reached $10.667 billion during the first half of 2017, while imports were $10.449 billion.

The Aegean region is one of Turkey’s seven regions located in the western part of the country. It includes eight states: Izmir, Afyon, Aydin, Denizli, Manisa, Kutahya, Mugla and Oshak.

On the other hand, the Turkish Leather Exporters’ Federation announced that exports of Turkish leather amounted to $858 million during the last seven months of 2017, and the shoe sector acquired $470 million of them.

Shoe exports to the Russian Federation reached $18 million in the same period last year, while it surged by $129 to $41 million in 2017. As a result, the Russian market has become the second importer of Turkish shoes after Iraq.

“Exports of the Turkish shoe industry are increasing every year. Turkish shoes are exported to 160 countries, and we can exceed $1 billion in the short term,” said the federation’s chairman.

He pointed out that Russia is one of the most important markets in the Turkish shoe industry and will be participating for the first time at the Euro Shoes exhibition in Moscow in February and August of 2018.

Farouk Hanoglu, head of the shoes industry association in the Aegean region said that the shoe industry provides jobs for 200,000 people, adding that the exhibition and the quality of shoes made the Russian market top the export list.

On the other hand, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey Numan Kurtulmuş said that the number of tourists who visited Turkey during the first six months of this year exceeded 15 million and that tourism income since the beginning of the year was over $9 billion.

He added that six million tourists visited Istanbul during the first seven months of this year, among them were 500,000 Germans.

Kurtulmuş explained that Turkey aims to boost the number of tourists to 50 million by 2023, and the tourism income to $50 billion.

The culture and tourism minister stressed the importance of work to diversify tourism in the country, noting that Turkey is already investing in various types of tourism, such as health, sports, religious, mountain, winter tourism and more.