Minister Çağlayan raises hopes for faster economic growth

May 15, 2012, Tuesday/ 17:22:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan raised hopes for faster economic growth in Turkey on Tuesday.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the İstanbul Young Entrepreneurs Association (İSGİD), Çağlayan said he believes with certainty that many financial institutions, in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will upgrade their economic growth outlook for Turkey. Mentioning his discussion with IMF head Christine Lagarde while trading jokes, Çağlayan quoted Lagarde as saying, “Although you don't need us [the IMF] anymore, we need you, and if Turkey continues growing this way, it will leave all of us jobless.” He also stated that he is proud of the government's strategies for planning the next 10 years concerning the economic outlook.

Noting the 7.07 percent growth prediction indicated in a recent report done by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) as compared to the state predictions of 4 percent, Çağlayan said, “Even thought we foresee a 4 percent growth in the Medium-term Economic Program [OVP], the high expectations of the private sector demonstrate the strong commercial ties established by these businesspeople and the export figures also indicate Turkey will break yet another growth record in 2012.” However, he underlined that Turkey has to maintain its price stability due to the high inflation numbers of the previous month. But with the 25 percent decrease in the current account deficit (CAD) in the first quarter, he said the inflation rate is expected to lessen throughout the year.

Çağlayan spoke on the ongoing economic slowdown in the eurozone, which has a negative impact on Turkey's exports as the country sells 42 percent of its goods to European countries, commenting: “We studied new export markets and rearranged our priority markets. Also, we increased incentives to sectors that export to these countries.” Even so, he expressed his confidence in the predictions of Turkish businesspeople and said, “We will not lose our advantages in the European market, and with the positive contributions of sectors like tourism, we will see growth rates meeting expectations in upcoming quarters.”

Informing the press on expanding the trade policy of his administration, the minister said he will travel to Poland on Wednesday as well as make planned trips to Pakistan and Kazakhstan with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a group of businesspeople. “We have established strong commercial relations wherever we visit and we believe the incentive package provided by the government will especially attract investments to Turkey,” he said, adding, “With contributions of the price stability, a firm financial market and rising exports, Turkey will continue to be a growing economy.”

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