Latest development plan lays out Turkey's 2023 ambitions for energy, digital transformation

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.07.2019 00:11
Turkey generated 32.5 percent of electricity from renewable sources in 2018 and its share in power production will rise to 38.8 percent by 2023, according to the country's 11th development plan.
Turkey generated 32.5 percent of electricity from renewable sources in 2018 and its share in power production will rise to 38.8 percent by 2023, according to the country's 11th development plan.

Turkey's latest development plan aims to unleash the country's potential by ensuring a digital transformation of supply chains and industrial production, boosting energy supply security and diversifying financial instruments

The first development plan of Turkey's presidential governance system, which has been in effect for the last year with the formation of the government on July 10, 2018, outlines a road map for Turkey's social and economic development until the centennial anniversary of the republic in 2023. The 11th Development Plan, submitted to Parliament on Monday following the approval of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is critical as it terminates on the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. Therefore, the goals included in the program are of strategic importance for Turkey to accomplish its centennial targets.

The plan outlines that Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) will reach $1.08 trillion and exports are aimed at $226.6 billion. The target is to reduce unemployment to 9.9 percent by 2023, while creating an additional 4.3 million jobs. With the targeted increase in tourism revenues, the ratio of current account deficit to GDP will fall to 0.9 percent. In addition to these macroeconomic goals, the plan delves into other specific areas to be improved. As part of the 11th Development Plan, the number of efficiency and digital transformation centers, model factories, will be raised to 14 until 2023 in order to ensure a competitive and productive industry. Digital transformation, the plan emphasizes, will boost productivity and invigorate Turkey's competitiveness.

Turkey's 11th Development Plan will be a road map to improve the country's position in the international arena and enhance its welfare, the country's vice president said Tuesday. Speaking to the Turkish parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, Fuat Oktay introduced the development plan to the commission members. Oktay noted that the development plan foresees "change and transformation in every area."

He said the plan would fulfill Turkey's "basic values and expectations" by realizing its development vision.

Oktay underlined that the government embraced the principles of the rule of law, a powerful democracy and rights and liberties as a main pillar of the plan. "We will attach importance to our energy and development policies during the period of the development plan," Oktay said. He added: "Our main aim will be to provide energy with continuous, qualified, sustainable, secure and bearable costs. Within this scope, it will be focused on seismic oil and gas detection and drilling activities in the sea," referring to Turkey's ongoing drilling efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean.

By way of Digital Transformation Product Development Support Program, Indigenous products and systems will be developed, improved and monetized in order to meet the needs of the prioritized sectors for the digital transformation of industrial production.

Cybersecurity of the industrial enterprises will be reinforced and protective measures for production plants and supply chains will be taken. The firms will benefit from end-to-end cybersecurity tests on a periodical basis. By 2023, the number of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that receive service through the industrial cloud platform will increase to 10,000. By the end of the plan period, the number of digitalization projects developed by SMEs in coordination with local service providers will reach 20,000.

Energy projects to raise renewable capacity

Turkey's installed power capacity was 88,551 megawatts (MW) in 2018, and the figure will be raised to 109,474 in 2023. The demand for electricity will rise to 375.8 terawatt-hours from 303.3 terawatt-hours.

The share of the domestic and renewable resources in the power generation will also be expanded. Last year, 20.7 percent of the electricity generation came from natural gas as opposed to 29.85 percent in the previous year. While Turkey generated 32.5 percent of electricity from renewable sources last year, their share will rise to 38.8 percent by 2023. In 2018, 150 terawatt-hours of power were generated from local resources and the plan aims to raise this figure to 219.5 terawatt-hours by 2023.

Competitive investment environment will be supported to meet the demand for increasing energy and the government will strive for a sustainable, stable, transparent and foreseeable energy market that protects the rights of consumers.

In the period from 2019 to 2023, the power plants currently operated by the public sector will be rehabilitated. The Afşin-B Thermal Power Plant, Keban Hydroelectric Power Plant, Karakaya and Hirfanlı Hydroelectric Power Plants will also be rehabilitated.

The construction of the first phase of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will be completed and start providing power to the national network by 2023. The government will also continue efforts to begin the construction of two other nuclear power plants.

The 11th Development Plan also aims to strengthen natural gas supply security. The projects for Lake Tuz Natural Gas Underground Storage Facility and Northern Marmara Natural Gas Storage Facility will be completed; hence the natural gas underground storage capacity will rise to 10 billion cubic meters.

In order to diversify suppliers and import routes, Turkey will have more floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) by 2023 and will complete the entry points. The transmission and distribution infrastructure will be invigorated.

The Turkish part of TurkStream, the natural gas pipeline project that will deliver Russian gas to Turkey and Europe, will be finished while the remaining parts of the multinational Southern Gas Corridor, which will carry Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and Europe, will start operating.

The latest development plan also aims to increase the share of renewables in power generation and ensure their safe connection to the electricity network with more investments. To that end, new projects for Renewable Energy Resource Areas (YEKA) will be organized.

Blockchain based digital central bank to be set up

The 11th Development Plan also stipulates that the diversification of instruments for a strong financial sector be implemented. In that regard, a block-chain based digital central bank will be operational.

The securitization of the assets in the banks' balance sheets is also one of the agendas to improve the diversified financial instruments. Lease certificates will be issued by setting up an SME asset issuance firm and the SMEs will be supported in any cost ensuing from lease certificate issuance. Furthermore, a road map to develop financial technology ecosystem in Turkey will be drawn up.

The companies that plan to start trading shares on the stock market will be provided with tax-related incentives. New generation financing models will be introduced while innovative projects will be financed through crowd-funding. In order to finance public-private partnership projects, the capital markets will be mobilized.

To prevent any negative impact of the high inflation in investments and economic growth, an interest rate policy that will keep the financing costs at a minimum will be adopted.

Goal to generate $65b from tourism revenues

The plan also outlines a road map for tourism activities and sets a goal of $65 billion for tourism revenues. Turkey's tourism revenues totaled $29.5 billion last year, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). The targeted number of foreign visitors is set at 67.7 million by 2023 by strengthening current markets and adding new ones.

In order to expedite tourism investments and intensify promotional activities, the Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency will be established. Perception and image enhancement campaigns will be run in rising and targeted markets.

During the period covered by the 11th Development Plan, the bed capacity of Turkish accommodation facilities will be increased by 300,000 in addition to the 212,038 that are currently under construction.

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