Shaking off global economic crisis, Turkish economy expected to post sready growth
In a televised address to the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey has major development goals in line with its great potential. Stating that the government aims to strengthen the economy and ensure long-term sustainable growth by raising the country's competitive power, Erdogan also said Turkey has set its sights on becoming one of the world's top 10 economies in the not-too-distant future. This goal requires an innovation-oriented approach, Erdogan said, telling how in recent years the government has boosted investment in research and development. Stating that Turkey has already achieved 2015 goals set by the UN, Erdogan said Turkey's great transformation in recent years and its success in weathering the global economic crisis were applauded during last week's G-20 summit in Toronto. Again dismissing claims of an axis shift in Turkish foreign policy, Erdogan said countries which have lost some of their trade share in Arab markets due to Turkey boosting its bilateral trade volume with Arab countries from $7 billion six years ago to $37 billion now is the main reason for these allegations. In related news, the Turkish economy expanded at the breakneck speed of 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010 over the same period a year ago, suggesting a strong recovery from the severe recession that took a profound toll on the global economy. Market analysts and business circles, however, cautioned that such a pace is unlikely to continue in the coming quarter, even though all of them agree that the economy will continue to grow. The Turkish economy made a strong comeback at the end of 2009, by growing at a higher-than-anticipated rate of 6 percent from a year earlier, after four quarters in a row of contraction. Even though last year ended with a contraction of 4.7 percent, this rate was well below expectations and so was seen as promising. Turkey started this year with an influx of positive economic data, suggesting that the country has managed to remain afloat amid the devastating global credit crunch and is about to leave the recession behind.