In 2100, some 44 percent of the world's population will live in Asia and 39 percent will live in Africa, a total of 11.3 billion people, while only 6 percent will live in Europe. About $63 trillion of the world's national income, which is expected to reach $150 trillion in 2100, will be the subject to global commercialization between countries and continents. Some $40 trillion of this trade will be realized in the Afro-Asia hinterland where 9.3 billion people will live. This is why the African continent, which had an average purchasing power of just $600 at the end of the 1990s, but should rise to $2,000 in 2030 and $6,000 in 2060, lays before us as the rising continent for all countries that do not want to lose their claim in the world's economy. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in Chatham House in London, Turkey is pursuing an entrepreneurial and conscientious foreign policy in regions and countries including the Balkans, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Africa for inclusive prosperity and peace.
On a regional and global scale, Turkey, which ranks fifth in the world in regard to its number of diplomatic missions, as defined by Erdoğan, is acting with a regional and global vision based on the principles of peace, security and prosperity for everyone highly valuing multilateral business cooperation. Turkey is trying to establish and enhance its friendships based on a win-win perspective in its region and in the world. It would be natural to expect countries across Asia and Europe, ranging from Japan to the U.K., to search for opportunities to collaborate with Turkey, who has developed and is following a comprehensive and successful vision in this context. Opportunities for cooperation in the Turkish business world with their counterparts in the East and West in emerging regions, from Central Asia to Africa, will create the best opportunities for the Turkish economy to reach a national income of between $1.7 trillion and $2 trillion.
That the U.K. has indicated Turkey, the term chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Energy Club, as an indispensable strategic partner during Erdoğan's London visit shows that the Beijing-London route passes through Istanbul in a world where global politics and economics are being restructured. Istanbul should strengthen its position in global transportation as a logistic junction point as well as also strengthen its advantages as a global trade junction with steps designed to clench its stance as Eurasia's most critically important finance, commerce and service center via financial technology, e-commerce, e-export expansions and digital platforms.
8.5 percent growth in the first quarter
March industrial production data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on May 16 shows that Turkish industry achieved a production performance of 9.93 percent in the first three months of 2018 compared to the first three months of last year. Production performances of capital goods producers, such as domestic intermediate goods, raw materials, non-durable consumption goods, energy, machinery and equipment, were higher than in March last year. Production of furniture, coking coal, refined petroleum products and durable consumer goods is a bit behind last year. Most of the energy, manufacturing and mining subsectors of the industry have a higher production index than last March. This shows that there has not been a demand fluctuation or demand contraction to disturb the industrial sector in terms of domestic market and export relations.
The main problem in the real sector is that everybody, including micro-businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large-scale producers, prefers to keep cash in hand and delay payments because of the constantly fluctuating and manipulated exchange rates. Thus, the most talked about topic in the market is the cash problem. One of the reasons why the Turkish lira is not comfortably circulating in the market is undoubtedly that the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) is keeping lira liquidity as tight as possible with respect to the fight against inflation. In the first four months of the year, the capacity utilization rate in the manufacturing industry that started at 78.2 percent declined to 77.3 percent in April. Capacity utilization rates in manufacturing industries that produce intermediate goods, investment goods, consumption and non-durable consumption goods performed well compared to the first four months last year, while the durable consumption goods sector experienced a performance loss. This data suggests that "there is no overheating in the Turkish economy." The claim of overheating is an entirely false diagnosis.
To protect employment and keep the economy's wheels turning, Turkey is continuing on its path to create enough tax revenue and maintain fiscal discipline. Economists and financial markets that credit the claims of international rating agencies' subjective reports should review their economic knowledge. All of the data indicates that the Turkish economy could have grown, with a 70 percent probability, 8.4-8.7 percent in the first three months of the year. The worst possible growth rate seems to be 6.7 percent; the best 10.1 percent. Holding its ground against claims of overheating, Turkey's growth success will continue to impress.