Babacan predicts Turkey will have $2 tln economy by 2023
Turkey will become a $2 trillion economy by 2023, with per capita income of up to $23,000, said Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan in New York yesterday. Speaking on a high-level 22-member panel on Global Sustainability which met yesterday, and which Babacan took part in at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Babacan said the panel tried to make projections about the world of 2050. "We discussed measures to stop global warming, and also focused on the problems of needy countries," he said. Participants took part in the meeting as individuals, not representatives of their countries, said Babacan, who is accompanying President Abdullah Gul for the current 65th session of the UN General Assembly. Asked later by reporters how Turkey has managed to achieve double-digit growth figures while most of the world is still suffering from the economic crisis, Babacan said, "Turkey's economy is growing thanks to domestic consumption and investments." Stating that private sector investments in the second quarter of this year total TL 41 billion, Babacan said the volume and importance of this can be better understood when it is compared to TL 20 billion annual public sector investments. Stating that Turkey's per capita income has been rising since 2002, Babacan also predicted that Turkey would become a $2 trillion economy by 2023, with per capita income reaching $22,000-$23,000 dollars. Stating that Turkey, as the world's 16th-largest economy, should have a stronger say in managing the International Monetary Fund, Babacan said he had discussed the matter with the IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Washington previously said two developing countries should replace two European countries in the IMF management, Babacan said, adding that Kahn favors this as well. Asked about the overvalued Turkish lira, Babacan said countries with firm economies also have strong currencies. Stating that Turkey is considerably better positioned in terms of rollover risks than Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece, Babacan stressed the importance of political stability for ensuring the continuation of Turkey's good economic performance. On the passage of a major constitutional reform package in a referendum earlier this month, Babacan said this reassured the world that Turkey's political stability will continue. He also stressed the need to raise the Central Bank's foreign exchange level to $100 billion, an amount enough to pay off all public and private sector the debts in a year.