Minister says Turkish economy to grow 11 pct in first quarter

Minister says Turkish economy to grow 
   11 pct in first quarter

Zafer Çağlayan

May 14, 2010, Friday/ 16:27:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Çağlayan predicted on Thursday that Turkey will see a growth of around 11 percent in the economy in the first quarter over the same months of 2009 when the figures are released later this month.Observers argued that recent positive economic figures would be followed by double-digit growth in the first quarter. The results for the Turkish economy’s performance in the first three months of 2010 are expected to be released shortly. Turkey’s economy shrank 4.7 percent in 2009; however it grew by 6 percent in the final quarter of 2009 over the same period of 2008. Gross domestic product (GDP) was TL 953.9 billion in the same period.

Çağlayan was speaking a press conference in Istanbul. Recalling that the medium-term economic program set Turkey’s year-end growth target at 3.5 percent, the minister continued: “But we see that we can easily grow more than 5 percent in 2010, and some of the world’s leading organizations also confirmed that Turkey will have growth close to 6 percent this year over 2009.”

Çağlayan is among the 10 ministers who will accompany Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Greece on Friday. The minister said he would later visit the US, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, China and Japan. Turkey expects to diversify its export markets as part of a target to reach $500 billion in exports in 2023. The minister said the government has encouraged Turkish businesses to invest in new markets through mergers and acquisitions.

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