Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that Turkey's debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was 23.5 billion USD in 2002 due to stand-by agreements and that this debt went down to 1.7 billion USD in 2012.
Turkey's debt to the IMF will be paid completely by April 2013, Erdogan stressed as he addressed the participants of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia taking place under the title "Uniting Regions in Transformation".
I am pleased to see the WEF meeting taking place in Istanbul. I am thankful to all those who made the forum possible in Istanbul, Erdogan noted.
I find the forum in Istanbul, with the heading "Uniting Regions in Transformation", highly well-timed and meaningful, Erdogan stated.
Despite all difficulties and problems in a tough geography, Turkey continues to develop with stability and democracy and protects its identity of being a secure island, Erdogan underlined.
It is clear that any country which runs away from regional cooperation in the Caucasus, Middle East, North Africa and Balkans will be deprived of not only prosperity but tranquility, stability and security as well, Erdogan stressed.
Our government's active and peace focused foreign policy in the past decade in addition to reforms made for democratization are highly meaningful to show how a country can advance, Erdogan said.
In the past 10 years, the Turkish economy grew around 5.3 percent annually, Erdogan noted.
When you consider the global financial crisis in the past decade, an annual growth of 5.3 percent is an important achievement, Erdogan said.
In 2011, Turkey was the second country in the world after China with its growth figure of 8.5 percent. While Turkey's national income was 230 billion USD in 2002, this figure jumped to 772 billion USD in 2011. Income per capita in Turkey went up to 10,444 USD in 2011. By the end of 2011, Turkey's foreign trade volume went up to 376 billion USD from 88 billion USD in 2002. Turkey's tourism income was recorded as 23.5 billion USD in 2011. Direct international investments in Turkey in 2011 were worth 16 billion USD, Erdogan indicated.
While Turkey's economic figures may have been negatively affected in 2009 due to the serious global financial crisis, economic figures in Turkey today are better than they were prior to the crisis, Erdogan also said.