More R&D spending: minister

More R&D spending: minister

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
More R&D spending: minister

Industry Minister Nihat Ergün (C) says Turkey needs to spend 3 percent of its GDP on R&D to reach 2023 economic targets. AP photo

Turkey needs to increase its spending on research and development (R&D) in order to reach its 2023 export goals and its dream of becoming one of the world’s top 10 economies, Industry Minister Nihat Ergün said yesterday.

By increasing its competitiveness and focusing on value-added products, Turkey can achieve an export figure of $500 billion by 2023, Ergün said at a panel on “2023 Vision and Turkey’s software sector,” adding that Turkey needed to focus on software development, nanotechnology and “new-generation” products.

“Ten years ago, Turkey’s GDP was $230 billion and 0.5 percent of this was spent of R&D; today the country’s GDP is $780 billion, but the amount spent on R&D is still around 1 percent,” Ergün said.

According to Ergün, if Turkey wants to post $2 trillion in GDP in 2023, it needs to allocate at least 3 percent of its spending to R&D.

While factors like land, capital and labor were important for production in the past, now factors like information and new technologies are at the forefront, he said, adding that university education for computer scientists in Turkey was too theoretical and that they were working on making it more practical.