TURKEY : AN EMERGING ECONOMY IN THE CENTRE OF THE MIDDLE EAST WARS
Author: Diego Caballero Vélez
Currently, when we talk about Turkey the first image that appears in our minds is whose of rich cities, good economy, a great educational system that promotes EU spirit giving to Turkish students the possibilities to go to the EU for studying, etc. In general lines, our vision of this country are that is a Muslim one but with an occidental vision.
The importance of this country lies in the economic growth that starts in 2002 and still continues. From this year till now, the Turkish economy has maintained an average annual growth rate of 5%, that is an incredible figure taking in account the economic crisis in which we are and the external conflicts of his neighboring countries.
Turkey lacks of oil and gas reserves but the competitiveness of his services, most of all in the tourism sector, and his industry, compensates it. This competitiveness has done that many countries turn their gaze to Turkey for investment in export products. The sector of renewal energies has become one of the most important of the countries and the countries that want to invest, they do in this sector. They mainly proportionate the necessary materials that the country needs to keep up with the development of this sector.
But how has it succeeded such a thing like that considering that 30 years ago had a poor economy? The answer lies in two main points: social stability and rebuilding of all the system. The first element has been fundamental for the success of the Turkish economy, being that the country in the last decade has adopted a moderate stance away from extremism. The rebuilding of the system means that has been a rebuilding of the bank system and control of budget and investments in infrastructures, education, health and technology.
From 2002, there has been a fall in unemployment, low debt and budget deficit (1’9 GDP), although the economic rising in the last years has slowed. I should also emphasize the important rise of the middle class. But not everything seems to be good for the Turkish future. Erdogan, president of Turkey, whose Muslim nationalism is provoking that Turkey was not as laic as everybody used to think. This produces instability in the society, being that his neighbors are convulsive regions with extremism.
So, the economic future of Turkey lies in the developments of the neighboring wars as Syria´s, the advance of ISIS, etc., and his neutrality; the social stability and betting on the laic system that has done of Turkey a stability supporting the economic rise; and finally, keeping up investing in tourism and renewal energies always with a close economic cooperation with the EU.
LINK Turkey Gov.