Current account measures saved Turkey from Greece-like problems: Deputy PM
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
'As we are all Mediterraneans, habits might have spread easily,' Deputy PM Ali Babacan said addressing the members of the CEO Club May 25.Turkey has managed to bring down its current account deficit, a problem that could have posed risks just like the ones in Greece, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said May 25.
"If we had not taken measures, we could have faced the picture in Greece," Babacan said, addressing the members of the CEO Club, an initiative by Capital and Ekonomist magazines and backed by Vodafone, a mobile operator.
"As we are all Mediterraneans, habits might have spread easily."
The Turkish current account deficit's ratio to the gross domestic product fell to around 6.5 percent last year from more than 9 percent in 2011, mainly due to the related precautions, he said.
Turkey's current account deficit, a core economic indicator, stood at nearly $49 billion in 2012, down from $77.2 billion a year earlier, according to Finance Ministry figures.
The Energy Ministry's efforts to cut foreign dependence in the sector played a significant role in the improvement and the country's balance of payments was positive when the energy item was excluded, he said.
Turkey's 2013 growth target stood at 4 percent, said the deputy prime minister, who heads a council of ministers related to the economy, adding that this was way above the European average.
"The situation regarding the European Union is unfortunately not that bright," he said, adding that many developed countries were failing to clarify their economic targets.
Economic targets to become law
The Turkish government is working on a five-year economic plan and will take it to Parliament in a bid to turn it into law rather than staying official targets, Babacan said.
"From savings to tax issues... There is a plan for us to work on all these issues," Babacan said, noting that the era of structural reforms in the economy had began.