Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek attended the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) Turkiye Economic Forum 2023 on Sunday as he discussed the Turkish economy and investment opportunities in Turkiye. Meanwhile in the same forum, Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat, emphasized that the share of Muslim countries in Turkiye's exports increased to 26 percent.
Minister Simsek drew attention to investment opportunities in Turkiye as he said: "Turkiye has advanced capabilities in the manufacturing industry thanks to its rich diversity of production and is at a key location for access to European and Central Asian markets. On the other hand, the Gulf countries, have limited diversification in the industrial sector despite their current account surpluses and strong infrastructure."
Simsek emphasized that new models that would increase cooperation between the sides, such as free trade agreements, were set to help Gulf countries diversify their production, accelerate mutual trade and investments, and increase sectoral potential, especially in tourism and construction.
In his speech, Simsek also discussed the macroeconomic policies implemented in the Turkish economy and the structural reform agenda.
"Turkiye's Credit Default Swap (CDS) has fallen below 400 basis points, down from 700 basis points in May. Turkiye's risk premium has almost halved, meaning investor confidence is returning, which will lead to capital inflows," Minister Simsek added.
Simsek pointed out that the normalization process in fiscal policy was supported by selective credit and quantitative tightening (QT) steps within the framework of the new policy prioritizing the struggle against inflation.
"After the transition period, the disinflation process will start in mid-2024 and we will reduce inflation to single digits by 2026. Turkiye has achieved significant success in reducing the budget deficit and public debt stock with the disciplined fiscal policies it has implemented," Simsek noted.
Emphasizing that Turkiye is a center that offers attractive opportunities to investors with its strong industrial infrastructure, young population, developed transportation network, geopolitical location close to major markets, and growth potential, Minister Simsek pointed out that in this context, it would be beneficial for the GCC member countries, which are trying to diversify their economies, to strengthen their cooperation with Turkiye.
"The current account deficit is expected to decline as a result of the steps taken towards rebalancing in the economy, normalization in gold imports, and natural gas and crude oil production activities. Continued strong tourism revenues will contribute to this process," Simsek said.
"Along with the growing confidence in our country, we see the reflection of the improvement in external financing opportunities in the strengthening reserves," Minister Simsek added.
Speaking during the forum held in Istanbul, Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat, emphasized that despite the recent contraction in world trade, the records broken in Turkiye's exports in recent months are encouraging for the economy.
"The share of Muslim countries in Turkiye's exports rose to 26 percent. This figure was only 11 percent in 2002. Our goal is to increase this figure to 35 percent in next five years," Bolat emphasized.
"Turkiye's GDP reached $906 billion, the highest level of the last eight years. In addition, our exports increased more than seven times from $36.1 billion in 2002 to $254,2 billion in 2022. This is the highest export figure reached in the history of Turkiye. In the period from 2002 to 2022, the number of tourists coming to our country from the GCC countries has increased significantly," he added.
Bolat stated that during this period, the financial sector and economic institutions were strengthened, the private sector was supported and legal arrangements were made to encourage investment inflows.