US Secretary of Commerce Praises Turkey's Economic Progress

The US secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, has praised the economic progress Turkey has made over the last decade, and thinks Turkey could well become one of the 10 largest economies in the world in the future. He was speaking at a lunch organised by the progressive think tank Centre for American Progress and the Turkish Confederation of Businessman and Industrialists (TUSKON), which took place recently in Washington DC.

Turkey's plan is to become one of the top 10 economies by 2023, and Bryson thinks this target is entirely plausible. At the moment Turkey is the 16th largest economy in the world, and by the end of 2011 had a GDP of nearly $800 billion. During the last decade the average rate of economic growth has been 5.4% annually, with 4% GDP growth expected this year. The long-term plan is to sustain growth of 5%, and to bring export volume up to $500 billion.

This is quite a target as last year export volume was just $135 billion. Turkey also plans to develop its own national aeroplane and car brands by 2023. Bryson was keen to point out the model partnership between the US and Turkey. This partnership has deepened since April 2009 when an agreement was undertaken to increase trade volume between the two countries.

The agreement was successful in increasing trade volume by nearly one third in just one year, but at the moment bilateral trade is still weighted in favour of the United States as Turkey exported just $5 billion worth of goods to the US last year. Turkey, alongside Britain, Canada and Japan is considering ordering the US made F-35 Jets, and is looking at placing an order worth $135 million for 100 jets.

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