Erdogan calls for more South Korean investments in Turkey
Speaking at a meeting of the Turkey-South Korea Business Forum in Istanbul yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on South Korean businesspeople to boost their investments in Turkey, calling the current bilateral trade volume insufficient. Stating that South Korean direct investments around the world stand at $100 billion, Erdogan said Turkey's share of this is only $500 million. "We expect our South Korean friends to significantly ramp up their investments in Turkey," he said. "The current trade volume between our countries is out of line with our strong friendship ties." On Turkey's economy, Erdogan said it is set to grow 3.5 percent this year, adding that some international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) put the figure even higher. Pointing to the remarkable structural reforms of recent years, Erdogan said, "Turkey is among the countries least affected by the global economic crisis thanks to the sound economic reforms and policies implemented by the government. Despite a serious contraction of global trade, last year Turkey's exports reached $102 billion." International forecasters predict that Turkey will be one of the fastest-growing economies of the world not only in 2010 but also in the following year, he said. Stressing that his government has introduced groundbreaking changes to create a suitable economic environment for foreign investments, Erdogan said, "The volume of foreign direct investments (FDI) attracted by Turkey climbed from just $1 billion in 2003 to $22 billion in 2007. Turkey was ranked ninth among developing countries in 2008 with an inflow of $18.2 billion in FDI." Erdogan said last year FDI in Turkey dropped to $7.6 billion due to the crisis. "We aspire to bring Turkey into the world's top 10 economies by 2023, the centenary of the Republic of Turkey," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey would become a more stable, reliable and economically strong country once it completes its current transformation. "I believe the rapid transformation process Turkey has been undergoing should be evaluated well by investors," he said.