Posted on 28 September 2012
One of the things I love most about the Turkish government’s economic management is the fact that it never rests on its laurels. When Turkey reached visa-free deals with several Arab states just before the Arab spring eradicated much of its competition for Arab tourism it seemed as though Erdogan might have had a crystal ball somewhere. And tagging on the new law to that allowing more countries, including the Arab states to buy property was equally well timed.
Thanks to the visa-free deals with the Arab states, the new property law and the Arab spring, Arabs are flooding into Turkey and spending heavily. But more than that exports are also rising massively, because the visa-free deals made it easier to do business, but also because of trade deals inked at the same time or before. It would be easy to sit back and back-slap for a bit on the wave of self-satisfaction this would give, but Turkey is not doing that.
The Turkish and Gambian governments have just co-signed a new agreement to recognise the importance of tourism to develop economic development in the countries and to use tourism as a means to develop stronger ties. Such agreements have tended to become pre-cursors for visa-free deals.
Gambia and Africa, along with the Arab states are driving the continued strong growth in Turkish exports; making up for the short-comings of the European Union still in crisis. Africa is one of the world’s future growth centres and one must applaud Turkey for its continued efforts to widen its sphere of trade and influence into the world’s emerging regions.