Turkish economy is currently in transition from a high degree of reliance on agriculture and heavy industry to a more diversified economy with an increasingly large and globalized services sector. According to the OECD, Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing economy of the OECD members during 2011-2017, with an annual average growth rate of 6.7 percent.
Here are some of the highlights:
• The 18th biggest eaconomy in the world.
• A ‘booming’, vibrant, economy with a cumulative GDP increase of 122% over the last 4 years totaling more than 400 billion US dollars.
• Centrally located between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.
• An important energy terminal and corridor in Europe, which connects East and West.
• A young population of over 70 million, with an average age of 29.
• Qualified, cost-effective and motivated labor force.
• A fast growing domestic market.
• In the EU Customs Union since 1996 and an EU accession country since October 2005.
• Institutionalized economy fueled by 20.2 billion USD of FDI in 2006 and ranked the 13th most attractive country in the world.
• Liberal and reformist investment climate with highly competitive investment conditions.
• Dynamic and mature private sector with over 105 billion USD worth of exports and an increase of 240% in the last 4 years.
• Sound economic policies with tight fiscal discipline.
• Strong financial structure resilient to the global financial crisis.
• Rapid recovery from the global financial crisis.
The trend towards liberalization dates back to the 1950s, but consistent plans became more apparent in the early 1980s when many radical changes and structural reforms were established. Among the main components of the economic reforms were reducing government intervention; implementing a flexible exchange rate policy; liberalizing import regulations; increasing exports; encouraging foreign capital investment and establishing free trade zones.
In the 1990s, Turkey's economy suffered a lot from a series of coalition governments with weak economic policies, leading to high-inflation boom-and-bust cycles that culminated in a severe banking and economic crisis in 2001, a deep economic downturn, and an increase in unemployment. Turkey's economy recovered strongly from the 2001 recession thanks to good monetary and fiscal policies and structural economic reforms.
As a consequence of structural economic reforms, tight fiscal policies securing independent Central Bank monetary policies, Turkey's economy grew an average of 6.0% per year from 2002 through 2007, one of the highest sustained rates of growth in the world. By achieving an overall growth rate of 8.9 percent throughout 2010, Turkey, with such a robust economic performance, stood out as the fastest growing economy in Europe and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.