Turkey urges poor nations to spend more on R&D
Turkey yesterday called on least-developed countries (LDC) to invest more in research and development at a preparatory event for the fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul. "There is a direct link between domestic R&D expenditures and gross domestic product growth," Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TUBITAK) head Nuket Yetis told the gathering. Despite LDCs' annual GDP growth rate of around 7 percent in 2008, the UN says still more than half of their populations live on less than $1.25 per day. As poverty remains the major challenge in LDC countries, State Minister Mehmet Aydin, responsible for science and technology, said Turkey could share its own valuable experience with these countries. According to World Bank figures, Turkey's 2008 R&D expenditures stood at around 0.72 percent of GDP. Though Turkey's gross domestic expenditures rose almost 3.7 times in 2002-2008 to reach nearly $6.83 billion, its per capita R&D spending of $97 is far below the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average of $753.