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Turkey's economy forges ahead in 2010

01-04-2011 08:38 BJT

By Wang Xiuqiong, Zheng Jinfa

ANKARA, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- While Europe was beleagued by the debt crisis in 2010, Turkey's economy forged ahead with strong growth and a promising prospect in 2011.

Turkey's economy was expected to achieve a 6.8 percent year-on- year growth in 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a recent national speech on Wednesday.

Some international organizations predicted Turkey to grow eight percent in 2010, the highest speed in Europe and the fourth highest in the world.

The country saw increases in exports and tourist revenues while attracted 22 billion U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment in 2010. Industrial output index rose to a record high in October, showing a resilient recovery in industrial activities.

Debt owed to the International Monetary Fund dropped from 23.5 billion dollars in 2002 to six billion dollars last year, reducing the country's external debt pressure.

High inflation and unemployment rates, Turkey's chronical diseases, also retreated last year, with an inflation rate of around eight percent and a jobless rate of around 10 percent.

Ali Babacan, Turkey's deputy prime minister and state minister for economy, said Thursday that the government was relatively prudent in its economic forecast.

The Turkish economy became one of the earliest countries to emerge from recession in the last quarter of 2009 though suffering a 4.7 percent slump in the whole year of 2009. It was also among the few economies with less public debt in Europe and the Middle East.

Tourism, aviation and telecommunications industries have become Turkey's major economic engines. With service sector taking up more than 60 percent of the national economic output, the economy was mostly boosted by domestic demand.

Tourism rebounded in 2010 with the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey rising to 30 million from 27 million in 2009, as global economy started to recover.

Turkey also made progress in economic cooperation, actively seeking new trade partners beside Europe. Turkey agreed to upgrade its relations with China to strategic cooperative relations in 2010 and boosted trade with neighboring countries in the Middle East, where its regional influence also expanded.

The Turkish government targeted an economic growth of 4.5 percent in 2011, 5 percent in 2012 and 5.5 percent in 2013. The Turkish economy is expected to keep growing at a notable pace this year.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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