Mid-term plan predicts renewed economic growth early next year
Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan yesterday announced Turkey's medium-term economic plan at a press conference in Ankara, also attended by Social Security and Labor Minister Omer Dincer, State Minister Cevdet Celik, and high-level economy bureaucrats. Focusing on putting budget balances back on track in 2010-2012 as well as restoring economic growth, hit hard by the global economic crisis, the program aims to put Turkey's economy back onto a sustainable growth track over the next two years. Stating that the economy is now well-positioned to resist any outside shocks thanks to reforms to the public administration and economy in recent years, and the financial sector enjoys a sound atmosphere of trust and stability, Babacan said the plan projects that Turkey's economy will restart growth next year, and the pace will pick up the following year in line with the gradual recovery of the world economy, despite an expected contraction in Turkey of about 6 percent by the end of this year. Stressing that talks with the International Monetary Fund over a possible standby agreement will go on in light of the mid-term plan, Babacan said that IMF financing was not a must for Turkey, but added that differences of opinion between Ankara and the Fund have narrowed. Babacan said the government is targeting 5.3 percent inflation for next year, a figure below the target set in 2008 before the economic downturn. "Supporting economic growth, spearheaded by the private sector, by reducing pressure on financial resources needed by the private sector, as well as improving predictability for the future, is the primary target of the program," said Babacan. "To this end, the program will lay the groundwork for Turkey to reenter an economic growth trend with the private sector as initiator, and to sharpen the economy's competitive edge and flexibility, thus leading to employment opportunities for more than 1 million within three years."