Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz said Turkey could be considered lucky in not having an abundance of natural resources, while addressing officials and economists in Istanbul on Monday.

"Turkey perhaps has good fortune of not having many natural resources, unlike many countries in Africa," said Stiglitz during his keynote address at the UN Development Program conference on "The Role of Private Sector in Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion."

He argued that an abundance of natural resources created high revenues but low employment. This, he explained, harms the social equity needed for healthy growth.

He added that an abundance of natural resources generally caused lack of competitiveness for exports because of the high national currency. 

The Columbia University professor, once chief economist at the World Bank, also underlined the need for public investments, claiming they were "complementary" to private investment 

"We need systems of taxes (...) to generate the revenues that are necessary to finance public investment," said the renowned economist and cited Sweden as an example of a successful economy boasting shared prosperity and fair economic growth.

Stiglitz also argued for a strong legal system to protect growth and encourage investment: “When you don’t have property rights or an independent judiciary, then you don’t know when you will fall out of favor and lose your investment,” he said.

According to Stiglitz, the major key for sustainable growth is shared prosperity and tackling social inequalıties.