TOBB: Turkey in desperate need of economic reforms

Turkey urgently needs a new economic model based on a technological transformation in production and increased entrepreneurship, the head of Turkey’s largest union said over the weekend. Turkey lags behind emerging market peers in terms of research and development (RD) and in economic reforms that will facilitate investments and boost productivity, according to Rifat HisarcIklIoIlu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).

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Turkey urgently needs a new economic model based on a technological transformation in production and increased entrepreneurship, the head of Turkey’s largest union said over the weekend.

Turkey lags behind emerging market peers in terms of research and development (RandD) and in economic reforms that will facilitate investments and boost productivity, according to Rifat HisarcIklIoIlu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).

In his address to the Economy Journalists Association (EGD) in Kocaeli’s Kartepe ski resort on Saturday, the TOBB chair said Turkey should transition from a traditional export-oriented model of industrialization and growth to a high-tech and high added-value production model.

The average share of high-tech products in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] members’ exports stands at 18 percent, while this figure is only 4 percent for Turkey.

hellip We need to change this for sustainable growth, HisarcIklIoIlu said. Another critical detail HisarcIklIoIlu shared was that the number of information sciences companies among the 100 fastest growing businesses in the US is 60, while only 21 such firms made it into the same list in Turkey last year

The figures show that Turkey still lacks development in high added-value fields like electronics, computer technology and biotechnology.

The share in Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) allocated to research and development is still below 1 percent. The government plans for this figure to reach 3 percent by 2023, the centenary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic, when 3 percent of the GDP is estimated to amount to $60 billion.

HisarcIklIoIlu cited education, the judiciary and the government as fields that should be given the priority of reforms.

The TOBB remains the most influential chamber and commodity exchange body in Turkey.

Established in March 1950, the TOBB has 365 chambers of commerce and commodity exchanges as members. These members are estimated to have 14 million businesses across Turkey

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN