Another Golden Age for the economy?

Published 08.11.2019 18:40
Updated 20.12.2019 01:33

In terms of political and economic history, the period between the eighth and 15th centuries was the Golden Age for the Islamic world. The conquest of Istanbul heralded the end of the Middle Ages, called the Dark Ages. For Europe, today the eastern wing of the Atlantic Alliance, on the other hand, the Golden Age began with the conquest of Istanbul. Europe, battling with the Ottoman Empire, carried out a comprehensive period of discoveries starting from the 15th century to the 19th century. This process meant for Europe – and in broader terms, for the Atlantic – becoming a part of the whole world through the "maritime trade corridors," being accessible to the whole world, and standing out in global production and competition.

The Atlantic Alliance has greatly benefited from the blessings of its golden age for 200 years. However, with the 21st century and the rise of Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region, China and Turkey executed mega infrastructure and construction projects that resonated globally, as the rising economies represented the eastern and western ends of Eurasia.

Particularly, Turkey has inspired the Caucasus, Central Asian republics and the Balkans as a playmaker country. Turkey has led the new deeply rooted cooperation with the member countries of the Turkic Council, stretching from the Great Wall of China to Hungary.

And, with the efforts of China on one end of Eurasia and Turkey on the other end, with their "skill" to take initiative, a train has left China, crossing Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia and has reached Turkey. Traversing the Marmaray tunnel connecting the two continents, the train crossed over into Europe.

China Railway Express is now the evangelist of a new Golden Age. Two hundred years after the Atlantic’s Golden Age, it is the herald of the Asia-Pacific, of Eurasia's Golden Age. We, the Turks, opened the door of the golden age for the Atlantic with the conquest of Istanbul; today, as the playmaker country of Eurasia carrying out megaprojects, we are this time opening the door for the golden age of the Asia-Pacific.

Well then, would American politicians and civil and military bureaucrats in Washington with their knowledge of history, their intellectual wealth and their ability to read the world be able to understand that Turkey and the Turkish people sit on a deep-rooted historical heritage that opens and closes eras, and that no sanction and embargo can suffice to undermine our centuries-old self-confidence?

If U.S. Congress cannot overcome political madness, approve the bills in question and bring them to fruition, wouldn’t it be committing a historic mistake that it will later deeply regret knowing that it would be losing such a strategically important ally, a country like Turkey, who is shifting eras? Perhaps they will realize whose golden age a train has opened up and will stop standing behind all the "poisonous" seeds they have planted in the last 30 years.

All sectors active in 2020

The Turkish economy can compensate for the hiccups in its domestic economic dynamics and declining sectors with its sectors that attain a positive performance with flexibility and mobility only a select few countries in the world are lucky to have.

Since 2013, we have survived many crises and difficult days. There were days when our tourism sector suffered significant losses; days when our agricultural sector or manufacturing industry took a hit. However, we offset the downturn in tourism with manufacturing and other service sectors. Today, we compensate for the contraction in the dynamics of the domestic market with exports of goods and services, and with the export of services, particularly, with sun-sand, health, congress, history and nature tourism.

Furthermore, the agricultural sector continues with a positive performance. In the domestic markets, sectors such as automotive and real estate are experiencing some movement due to the decrease in economic-political uncertainties, the stabilization of exchange rates, the easing of inflation and the reduction of credit costs to a reasonable level.

As positive developments to break the perception of the high cost of living in a large part of the society accelerate, the recovery of domestic consumption, with a strong trend in exports, will be positively reflected on production capacities and delayed investment decisions.

The recovery and balancing of the economy will be reflected in 2020 as an increase in the value-added production of the industrial sector by 6%, the services sector by 5% and the agricultural sector by 4%. This will move Turkey's GDP to grow by 5% by the end of 2020.

It is expected that the capital stock and employment due to growth will contribute and that the contribution of the total factor productivity will be positive. While private consumption expenditures are expected to contribute 3.1 percentage points and private sector fixed capital investment expenditures another 2.8 percentage points to GDP growth in 2020, it is foreseen that the contribution of public expenditures will be neutral and that the contribution of net exports, following the records in 2018 and 2019, will be negative 0.6 points.

As the wheels are heating up in the economy, it is of particular importance that annual inflation, which is expected to end 2019 in the 11-12% range, will retreat to 8.5% by the end of 2020. Again, the increase in employment by 1.1 million compared to the previous year and unemployment’s decrease to 11.8% will be recorded as separate positive developments.

While the economy achieves the said rapid recovery, the fact that the current account deficit’s ratio to the GDP is at 1.2% will disrupt the stereotyped judgment that Turkey has to endure high inflation and deficit in order to achieve high capacity growth. As the global political economy is restructuring, strengthening our position with a new economic structure will have a multifaceted positive return on us.

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