11/23/2011

FT: Turkey’s can-do culture drives growth ‘miracle’

Britain’s well-known business and economics newspaper Financial Times has issued a special report on Turkey, dubbed “Investing in Turkey”, broadly covering the country’s economic success in the last decade from multiple points of view. The piece penned by Daniel Dombey, underlines Turkey’s strong points that global investors take note of, such as the entrepreneurial dynamism, the large domestic market and the stability that the strong political leadership ensures.

The article quotes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s words describing Turkey’s recent achievements as the “Turkish Miracle”, most obviously seen in the country’s high GDP growth rates, 10.2 percent in the first half of 2011, and the tripling of per capita income in less than a decade.

Following up by comparing Turkey with nations facing financial crisis born out of problems in the banking sector and public finances, the article resorts to Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan’s remarks; “If you look at Turkey, you see that these two main problems do not exist here,” as he had told in a recent conference in Istanbul, highlighting the country’s strongly regulated and well capitalized banks and its low level of public debt – below 40 percent of gross domestic product.

Reflecting the growing confidence, the article rightly spots the “can-do attitude” prevalent throughout the country, as the head of one of the country’s leading business organizations, Umit Boyner of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) describes as the key competitive advantage: the confidence factor.

Sizeable acquisitions of Turkish companies that have recently taken place and the increasing attention from private equity groups to the country’s successful companies are also mentioned in the article, which states the reasons for the country’s appeal as its young population, vibrant domestic market and skill centers in areas such as the automotive industry, white goods manufacturing and aeronautical components; its entrepreneurial breed of businesspeople, often from Anatolian cities such as Konya and Kayseri as well as Istanbul; and its location, with access to markets in Europe, the Middle East, central Asia and beyond.
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