Growth should have a social impact, says Turkish Deputy PM

Growth should have a social impact, says Turkish Deputy PM

LOS ANGELES - Anadolu Agency
Growth should have a social impact, says Turkish Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan delivers a speech at Anderson School of Management in University of California (UCLA) as part of his US visit. AA photo

Growth should reduce poverty and improve education and health systems in a country, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said during his visit to the United States.

Babacan said financial, social and environmental developments should also be taken into account when assessing whether a country had stable growth or not, at a conference at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) within the scope of Turkey Investment Week on Oct. 21.

“We should look at whether growth in a country reduces poverty, ameliorates education and raise health system’s quality. If it doesn’t, it isn’t growth but stealing from the next generations,” he said.

Political stability ‘key’

Babacan referred to the social transformation in Turkey by saying that there were more than 300 television channels, more than 1100 radio stations and hundreds of newspapers. He added that Turkey was one of the countries that had the highest rate of internet access and social media usage.

He also noted that Turkey survived the last global financial crisis while the European Union countries were seriously affected and many banks in the world bankrupted.

Babacan said political stability in a country was important for the foreign investors. Turkey developed policies that privileged democracy and removed the concerns about a coup d’état in the country in the last 11 years. He also stressed that the Gezi incidents had calmed down and the democracy package recently announced would enhance democratic rights, make fines for hate crime heavier and pave the way for peaceful protests.

Speaking at the same event, Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the President of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), made a call to the American Business Council, which had 3 million members, to invest in Turkey. “We’re inviting American firms to Turkey for long-term investments,” he said.

Babacan said Turkey was at a strategic point that linked three continents and also Istanbul was advancing on the way to becoming a financial center in the region. Turkey’s economic relations with Russia, China and India have been developing fast, he said. While many countries have shut down their foreign missions in Africa, Turkey has 35 embassies and would raise this number, he added.