Turkey: The World’s 5th Fastest Growing Economy in 2013

By achieving a 4.4% in the third quarter growth rate, Turkey ended the first three quarters of 2013 with a total 4% growth rate. This means that Turkey has now had 16 continual quarters of growth and is expected to rank among the world’s four fastest growing countries in 2014.

According to the 2013 World Investment Report released by UNCTAD (The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), in 2012 Turkey moved up two steps to 24th  place on the list of Foreign Direct Investment Enterprises and now ranks in 14th  place of those developing countries with the highest number of foreign direct investments.

It is interesting that while in the year 2000 Turkey ranked 45 on the list of foreign direct investments, by 2012 it had moved up to the 28th  place. During this time span Turkey increased its stock of foreign direct investments tenfold to total 181 billion USD. In 2011 Turkey moved from the prior year’s 43rd  place to 36th  place of foreign investments with a total of 4 billion dollars.

When we look at the trend of foreign direct investments through the years we see that in the 1990s developed countries enjoyed a 50% share of all of these kinds of investments, but that in 2009 so-called developing countries began to gain the majority shares of foreign investments. It was especially Western Asia that was seen to forge a place for itself as an attractive region for such foreign investments. In 2011 the Western Asia Region led the list of foreign direct investments with a 12.4 billion dollar share of the total.

Turkey’s dynamic structure creates attractive markets for a host of different sectors. Many, very valuable projects in terms of their economic perspectives are currently underway in Turkey. The Marmaray Project, a construction project that ranks as the world’s second largest infrastructure project after the Panama Canal, is an underwater tunnel project linking the continents of Europe and Asia. This giant project includes 76.3 km of construction, with 13.5 km of this construction under water. The project is now partially completed and that completed section has begun to provide mass transportation, while work on the remainder of the project is continuing unabated. The third Istanbul airport project is scheduled to be completed in 2018. This new airport will have an annual capacity of 150,000,000 passengers and will even surpass the Beijing airport project that is scheduled to begin in 2014 and be completed by That airport will have an annual capacity of 130,000,000 passengers. Another major Istanbul project is the Canal Istanbul, that is second only to the forty billion dollar, 100 km long canal Nicaragua tunnel that will connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The Istanbul project will connect the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea and will be approximately 50 kilometers in length. Turkey’s real estate market is also continuing to grow continually and at great speed. In the first six months of 2018 foreign investors from 88 of the world’s countries purchased a total of 7,145 real estate ventures.

The factors for this kind of growth include the facts that Turkey has a young population and a broad utilization of recent technologies. According to data released in March of 2013, Turkey has 67.9 million cell phone customers and 20.4 million internet users. In 2012, 174.8 million SMSs were sent every minute.

Geographically, Turkey is a connection point for Europe, the Caucuses and the Middle East and its network of expressways – scheduled to be entirely completed by 2023 – will provide a continual west-east axis corridor. Turkey also has a strong infrastructure from a logistical perspective. Its 65,644 kilometer network of highways today includes 2,244 kilometers of expressways. This figure is scheduled to rise to 4,554 by the year While 535 kilometers of the construction is currently underway, preliminary work on the remaining 5,019 also continues. According to 2013 year-end data, the aviation sector achieved an income of 21.4 billion dollars for that year, and now provides employment for 167,000 workers. Sector legal regulations are also being advanced and in the last ten years a total of 200 regulations governing this sector have been issued. Turkish Air Cargo has a fleet of 217 aircraft flying to 230 international destinations. In 2013 this airlines increased its freight capacity by 20%. Turkey’s e-trade sector has grown to 20,000,000 USD, with approximately 200,000,000 e-trade transactions occurring annually. A logistic sector is also developing to ease and service  z-trade transactions. Among the major reasons for the advancements noted in the transportation and e-trade sectors is the fact that Turkey has set for itself the goal of achieving a 1.2 trillion dollar foreign trade volume by the year 2023 and to rank among the world’s top ten leading economies. Plans call for the logistic sector to grow three-fold by the year 2023.

Turkey’s heating and cooling sector is also growing at a rate that matches Turkey’s overall sectoral performance. By the year 2023, the year that will mark the 100th  year of the founding of the Turkish Republic, plans call for Turkey’s heating and cooling sector to account for a 25 billion dollar share of the total 500 billion dollar export target. To achieve this goal, representatives from the HVAC-R Industry Exporters Union (ISIB), sectoral trade organizations, universities, public agencies, and other sector stakeholders are increasing their roles in joint efforts and are endeavoring together to establish a working agenda.

Oya Bakir,Ph.D.