Turkey is now targeting four percent growth this year instead of the previous eight percent, because it wants to concentrate on sustainability and shoring up growth against the continued economic volatility. This is according to the statements of Ali Babacan, the Deputy Prime Minister speaking at the first Uludağ Summit, which is regarded as Turkey’s equivalent of the Davos economic forum.
“We could have targeted eight percent economic growth easily, but we wanted to prioritize the sustainability of the economy by targeting four percent,” said Babacan. “We are trying to prepare for all possible scenarios … When the fog is dense, you need to slow down due to unpredictability.”
Babacan once again stated Turkey’s intention to be one of the top 10 economies in the world with at least $25,000 average income per capita by 2023. However, he said that Turkey has no chance of this unless it makes it easier for foreigners to invest in the country.
“Turkey could only attract $14 billion despite all our efforts, while the total volume of FDI was nearly $1.6 billion in global markets,” he said, adding that Turkey must remove some of the bureaucratic obstacles to increase investment if it has any chance of achieving its aim.
Another thing Turkey and its people need to change to become a major player is household savings, which are currently at just 12%. This and its sluggish growth are especially worrying given that household debt is growing rapidly. “We have started to consume too much … Citizens have spent by increasing their household debt,” said Babacan.
Babacan also targeted the education system saying that becoming a top 10 economy was just a dream while the average duration of education for over 25s was just 6 and a half years.