There is ample reason to be optimistic about Turkey's growth prospects for 2020 and beyond. With a young population and a diversified economy at the crossroads of three continents, opportunities are simply boundless.
To seize those opportunities, we have been working on two tasks since taking office about a year and a half ago. As part of our first task, we fought off a myriad of attempts at curbing Turkey's regional and global aspirations through nefarious attacks on our financial system. We have also moved fast to help the economy rebalance and recover from a fragile state of wide current account deficits and chronically high inflation. Our decisive actions successfully guided the economy to a near-perfect soft landing throughout much of 2019. Even more notably, most economic indicators now point to an improving job market and a growing economy with robust sectoral diffusion across the manufacturing, construction and service sectors in the fourth quarter of 2019. Expectations are quickly converging in our New Economic Program's forecast of 5% growth for 2020 and 8.5% inflation by year-end. As a result of this strong performance, investors who believed in us are deservedly seeing attractive returns on their Turkish assets.
Our efforts for the second task of putting Turkey on a permanent path of sustainable growth are seeing results as well. To name a few, the Ministry of Industry and Technology is executing an investment plan that involves the domestic production of key industrial components to reduce our reliance on imports. The Ministry of Trade is implementing a plan that is focused on developing new export markets. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is working toward doubling our tourism revenues over the next four years. Finally, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure recently unveiled a master plan for turning Turkey into a logistics hub that connects Europe, Asia and Africa. We are determined to unlock the potential of our natural endowments through infrastructure investments.
Another top priority for us is to attract stable foreign direct investment to projects that further bolster Turkey's current account. Our sovereign wealth fund and other state institutions are holding discussions with strategic partners in select industries, such as pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, renewable energy and high technology. In addition, we are engaged in exploration activities for oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
We have many other transformative policy initiatives planned for the rest of 2020. We plan to boost domestic savings and facilitate the deepening of our capital markets, mainly through automatic enrollment in individual retirement accounts that are funded with employer and worker contributions. Legal reforms for the effective functioning of the judicial system are also planned to support the predictability of the investment environment.
We have made great strides in improving the quality of Turkey's economic institutions and the degree of policy coordination among them. This has helped increase confidence in financial markets with many tangible metrics of progress such as lower currency volatility and a smaller percentage of savings in foreign currency in the financial system. Our strong fiscal balance sheet and long track record of fiscal discipline also serve as key anchors for maintaining investors' confidence.
The excitement is palpable as Turkey's ascent resumes anew. An ambitious agenda of economic transformation is underway. Those investors who missed Turkey's performance in 2019 would be smart to join now.
*This article is penned by Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak for Daily Sabah's WEF 2020 exclusive edition.