Turkey, a country with a population of 75 million, is now one of the most forceful and fastest growing global economies. According to data provided by the local institute of statistics, last year GDP increased by 8.5%, of which 5.2% was seen in the last quarter. In 2010, the Turkish economy grew by 8.9%. GDP growth rate in 2011 is probably the second highest in the world, after China, as Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology, Nihat Ergun, recently stated. However, the Turkish Government anticipates GDP growth to slow to 4% in 2012, mainly as a result of the Eurozone crisis, after which it will pick up. These estimates are confirmed by data on the last year increase in Turkish exports by a record-breaking 18.2% or almost $140 million. Half of that amount relates to European countries.
During last December, Turkish exports increased by 4.5% in relation to the same month of the previous year ($12.1 billion). This country, currently ranked as the 16th global economy and sixth largest European economy, wishes to join the company of the 10 largest global economies by 2023. To achieve this goal, they must triple their present exports to almost $500 billion, says Omer Basbug, member of the Board of Directors of TUSKON (Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists). Basbug is a member of the Board of Directors of the family company established in 1974. It produces spare parts for Ford, Mercedes, VW, Opel, Peugeot, Citroën, exporting into 40 countries worldwide. The textile industry is one of the most important Turkish industrial branches; however, the automobile industry as well as electronics are becoming equally important.
Tourism generates an income in excess of $20 billion, where Germans, Russians and British record the highest number of visitors. Turkish airports saw a record number of passengers last year. Around 118 million passengers were transported from airports in Istanbul and Ankara, a 14.4% increase in relation to 2010. Croatia is a strategic market for Turkish Airlines, with plans to increase its operations. Last year, 62,600 passengers were transported via the Istanbul-Zagreb route, highlights President and CEO of Turkish Airlines, Temel Kotil. He stresses the company transported a total of 33 million passengers last year, a 12.1% increase, with the number of international passengers increasing by 15.4%. At the same time, cargo transport reached 387,000 tonnes, 23.7% more compared with the year before. Turkish Airlines employs 15,700 people, and are in mixed ownership: the state holds a 49% share, and the remainder is owned by private investors.
Even though foreign trade has grown over the past several years, the total volume of around €550 million dropped to €420 million last year, when imports from Turkey decreased from $444 million to 244 million. At the same time, Croatian exports doubled, increasing from $85 million to $173 million. All this reflects the capacity and complementarities of the two countries since in terms of imports and exports Turkey ranks around 18th in Croatian foreign trade partners. For several years, Croatia has exported mainly petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals to Turkey comprising a third of total Croatian export to this country. In terms of volumes of exports, they are followed by nitrogenous fertilisers, steel and iron waste...