Turkey at Davos with more positive outlook: Minister

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Turkey is joining the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this year with a more positive outlook, the Turkish treasury and finance minister has said.

Turkey sees 2020 as an important year for foreign direct investment, Berat Albayrak said during the 50th WEF in Davos, on Jan. 22.

After an unsteady environment and currency attacks over the past 18 months, Turkey’s circumstances have now taken a turn for the better, Albayrak highlighted.

Underlining that growth was the WEF’s main focus this year after environmental concerns, he stressed that while “developed and developing countries’ contributions to the world economy are decreasing,” Turkey’s 5 percent growth target for 2020 was important for the world.

The government also targets 5 percent growth both for 2021 and 2022.

The economy expanded 0.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019 after contracting 2.3 percent in the first quarter and 1.6 percent in the second quarter

Turkey expected to attract $15 billion in foreign direct investment this year, Albayrak said in a speech in Istanbul earlier this week, adding that the country would leave 2019 behind with a soft landing and with a positive growth rate.

‘Attractive destination’

Turkey’s strategic location combined with its trade agreements with other countries will make it an even more attractive destination for investors in the coming years, said Murat Sönmez, the managing director of the WEF, on Jan. 22.

“This is a great opportunity for the country, the potential is even bigger if globalization 4.0 is implemented in the right way,” Sönmez said.

Turkey could become a key player in international trade networks and play a bigger role as a regional center of trade, according to Sönmez.

“It is a given that the geographical location provides Turkey with important advantages, the country is within just a four-hour flight distance to 1.5 billion people and to an economy of over $20 trillion,” he highlighted.

Global firms mull investments in Turkey: Minister

Major global companies have requested meetings to discuss possible investment opportunities in Turkey, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan has said.

“Procter & Gamble and Alibaba, as well as General Electric, which already have a presence in the country, made such requests. International companies, which are already doing business in Turkey, see the country’s potential, thus undertake new investments,” Pekcan told journalists in Davos on Jan. 22.

Turkey is truly a land of opportunities, she said.

“Turkey well positioned itself at a time when trade wars gripped the global economy. During that time, we also saw how dynamic the Turkish businesses are,” the minister added.

Pekcan underlined the increased protectionism across the globe and said that “despite this unfavorable environment, Turkey managed to boost its exports by 2.04 percent last year from 2018 to $108.5 billion.”

In the first 20 days of January, Turkey’s exports exhibited a 3 percent rise, Pekcan said.

The minister recalled that the U.S imposed additional tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum in 2018, and Turkey, as a principle of reciprocity, responded by levying tariffs on some U.S products, a move in line with WTO rules.

“We are ready to lift those additional tariffs as soon as the U.S. does so. But we should not be expected to remove additional tariffs unilaterally,” she underlined.

Hurriyet Daily News

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