3/21/2008

World Bank report: "Turkey is moving forward"

Today’s Zaman - A recent document released by the World Bank on its Web site details positive developments in Turkey's economy, education, science and healthcare systems. The assessment, titled "Turkey's Development Results," noted that Turkey is making progress in its development across a range of sectors, including modernization of the cadastre and land registry systems, increased efficiency within the energy sector and the assistance provided to growing businesses for accessing needed capital. "The country as a whole is moving forward, and it is seeing results," the bank stated. As regards the economy, the assessment first pointed to the efforts to reduce poverty, noting that the poverty rate of 27 percent in 2002 dropped to just under 18 percent in 2006 in Turkey. "These numbers represent large parts of the population that are reaping the benefits that come with sustainable development, including improved health, better education and the prospect of a better life for their children." The bank also said the government's aggressive reform efforts had led to consistent improvements in the macroeconomic situation. Turkey's average gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been 7 percent over the last five years, and inflation neared 7 percent last year, the lowest level in the last 30 years. Also mentioned by the World Bank are reforms that simplify procedures for starting a new business. The time it takes to start a business dropped from 38 days in 2003 to nine days in 2006, it noted.

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