the economic environment

The Government of Ankara has been able to exploit the opportunity offered by the “Staff Monitoring Programme”, approved by the International Monetary Fund in 1998 in order to support Turkish economy. Actually, thanks to the resolute implementation of the above mentioned programme, Turkey has been able to rapidly recover from the economic crisis that hit the country in 2000-2001. Between 2004 and 2008 Turkish GDP registered an average growth rate of 4% (with a growth rate of 10% in 2004 and 7,7% in 2005), while in the same period the per capita GDP raised from $5.779 to $11.228, thus registering a 94% growth (see the following charts). This lead Turkey to overtake the economic level of some European states (such as Romania and Bulgaria, registering a per capita GDP of $7930 and $5490 respectively). Besides from 2002 until 2007 Turkish export raised of 200% (and with neighbouring countries of 478%), trade interchange of 216% and imports of 340%. In the same period significant improvements have been made with regard to the Millennium Development Goals indicators on poverty: while in 2004 food poverty hit 60% of the Turkish population, only 4 years later it involved only 0,54% of the global population, while in the same period “total poverty” decreased from 30% to 18,4% of the population1

Figure 1 - GDP growth 2003-2008 (percentage change)

Source: State Planning Organisation, Annual Programme 2009. Tratto da “Assessement of development results – Turkey”, UNDP.

Figura 2: GDP per capita 2003-2008 (in current US$)

Source: State Planning Organisation, Annual Programme 2009. Tratto da “Assessement of development results – Turkey”, UNDP.

Despite the significant progresses in poverty reduction, there are still strong regional disparities, which lead the central government to identify the regional policy as one of the fundamental priorities of the current plan of development for the period 2007 – 2013. Besides Turkey has been hit by the serious economic crisis broken out in 2008: if initially Turkish economy showed stability and solidity, on the contrary in 2009 Turkish GDP decreased of 10%, above all because of the drastic fall of the interchange (-34,7%) and of the industrial production (-22%).

Exchanges with Italy

Since 2000 the volume of trade between Italy and Turkey has been constantly increasing, having reached in 2008 the total amount of 18,8 billion dollars, with a growth of 7,5% compared to the previous year. The majority of products exported from Italy concerns capital goods and intermediate goods and of course the well known “made in Italy” products, such as clothing. Also Italian exports of synthetic and artificial fibers, jewels and goldsmith products have lightly increased. Italy has imported from Turkey above all leather, metal and paper products. Above all Italy is a fundamental partner of Turkey in some sectors of strategic importance, such as the bank sector, energy and telecommunication. Also worth to mention, within bilateral economic relations between Italy and Turkey, the initiative “Italia in Turchia 2010”, which will enhance the excellence of the Italian system in Turkey through the coordination of a rich program of economic and cultural events.

Links of interest

1. All data presented here have been quoted from the “Joint Report Embassy/Consulate/ENIT”, country “Turkey”.