Turkey by numbers

Here are the figures that show the country has what it takes to be a force on the global financial field.

Turkey is an increasingly attractive destination for businesses looking to invest in a wide range of sectors and industries. With its sophisticated economy and strategic geographic location, the country is also the ideal destination for companies looking for a base to bridge Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Among its advantages are sound economic fundamentals; a skilled, productive workforce; world-class banking services; excellent infrastructure and a large domestic market. In addition, Turkey serves as the ‘energy corridor’ to Europe, and the country has also enjoyed a Customs Union with the European Union since 1996. The Turkish government takes foreign direct investment extremely seriously; as such, companies looking to set up operations in Turkey can take advantage of a number of financial and other incentives, in addition to an already business- friendly climate that emphasises low taxes, ease of doing business and excellent support networks. Here we take a look at the key numbers that show why Turkey has what it takes to be a successful investment destination:

GDP

Turkey is one of the world’s most important economies, boasting purchase-power parity (PPP) GDP of $1.641 trillion ($721 billion nominal), ranking it as the world’s 17th biggest economy (18th nominal).

POPULATION

Turkey’s population is touching on 75 million people. Like most countries in the region, the population leans to the young – a quarter of the population is aged 14 or under. Turkey has a labour force of 28 million; Turks enjoy a good standard of living, with GDP per capita standing at US$20,888 (PPP).

GROWTH

Turkey is a growth success story, showing impressive gains of 9 to 10 per cent annually during the global financial crisis. This has slowed in recent years; however, the Turkish government has revised growth estimates for 2015 to 4 per cent. GDP targets for 2016 have been revised upwards to at 4.5 per cent from 4 per cent, annual GDP expansion is set to reach 5 per cent in 2017 and 2018.

INDUSTRY

Turkey has extremely developed light and heavy industries, accounting for 27 per cent of its economy. Its main industries are textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, tourism, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber and paper. The country boasts a thriving auto industry – the fifth largest in Europe – and is also one of the world’s largest shipbuilding nations.

AGRICULTURE

About a third of Turkey’s workforce work in agriculture, and Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, figs, apricots, quinces and pomegranates, and among the top three producers for a vast array of other produce. Increasing urbanization and industrializing is slowly but surely reducing agriculture’s contribution to the economy, which currently stands at 9 per cent.

IMPORTS

In 2014 Turkey bought $242.2 billion worth of imported products. At $54.9 billion – or 22.7 per cent of the total – oil was by far the largest import item, followed by machinery and parts (11.6 per cent); electronic equipment (7.4 per cent); steel and iron (7.3 per cent) and vehicles (6.5 per cent).

EXPORTS

In 2014 Turkey’s exports stood at $176.6 billion, ranking it 28th in the world. Turkey’s main exports markets are the EU, Iraq, Russia, USA, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. Turkey’s exports textiles and clothing, automotive, iron and steel, white goods and other consumer durables and chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

TOURISM

Tourism is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing, most dynamic sectors. Boasting areas of outstanding natural beauty, an excellent climate and a rapidly developing services sector, the country welcomed more than 42 million tourists in 2015, worth around $30 billion to the economy. To put that in perspective, just two decades before, in 1995 the country welcomed just seven million visitors. It is now the sixth most popular tourism destination in the world, and fourth most popular in Europe.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Turkey boasts a strong financial services sector, dominated by its 49 banks, but with growth potential for insurance and other services. The sector proved remarkably resilient during the global financial crisis in 2009 – between 2008 and 2014 the sector grew by almost 19 per cent annually, reaching a total asset size of $1.4 trillion. The banking sector alone almost doubled in this period, with $860 billion on its books by the end of 2014.

AREA

Turkey is the 38th largest country in the world, covering some 783,562 square kilometres. Its varied landscapes range from Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea beaches through fertile plains and numerous high mountain ranges.