The report, titled “Turkey: an Economic Pearl on the Bosphorus,” predicts an average of 5.3 percent growth over the next two decades in Turkey, and envisages that the country's growth will likely continue even amid Europe's economic slowdown. One reason for that expansion, says the bank, is Turkish firms realigning their focus “on exports towards fast-growing regions in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Emerging Europe,” adding that the share of Turkish business focused solely on Western Europe is “rapidly declining.”
Another key reason cited by Europe's largest bank for continued Turkish expansion is the country's burgeoning domestic market, where a young population helped to create a consumer market valued at roughly 383 billion euros in 2011. The market will rise in value to roughly 556 billion euros in 2020, the report predicts.
As growth at home and abroad bumps Turkey from its number seven slot in Europe into fifth, its economy will overtake Spain and the Netherlands. The report suggests that companies and investors in Europe should seek to ride the growth, but said that currently “exporters underestimate the opportunities in Turkey,” and predicted that Dutch traders alone are “missing out on 4.1 billion euro potential exports until 2016.”
The assessment is a turnaround from European attitudes regarding investment in Turkey a decade ago, when a slower rate of growth and massive currency devaluation made the market at best murky for investment. Today's Turkish economy is not without its own perils, the report noted, citing a narrowing but still hefty current account deficit. The deficit is “already less than last year, but still 9 percent of GDP, which is high by international standards,” it notes.