Turkey’s debt to IMF to be cleared by April

Turkey’s debt to IMF to be cleared by April

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s debt to IMF to be cleared by April

This photo shows IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. The Turkish government plans to pay off all its debt to the International Monetary Fund next year. EPA photo

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey will clear its remaining debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by April 2013.

“At the present we owe a total of $1.3 billion to the IMF and we will cut it to zero by next April,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sept. 30 at a congress of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara, according to the Anatolia news agency.

Erdoğan said his government had taken over $23.5 billion in debt when the AKP came to power in 2002, adding Turkey would lend the IMF $5 billion. Turkey’s public net debt stock was 61.5 percent in 2002, and that the government had reduced the figure to 22 percent, he said, adding that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose to $774 billion in 2011 from $230 billion in 2002.

The Turkish premier said Turkey’s average annual growth rate had increased to 5.3 percent between 2003 and 2011 from 3 percent between the years of 1993 and 2002.

Erdoğan said Turkey’s exports hit a record high in 2011 to reach $135 billion, adding that the figure in 2002 was only $36 billion.

The prime minister also said preparations were underway to begin the Kanal Istanbul project, a parallel waterway that is designed to connect the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.

The ruling party aims to decrease the ratio of the social security deficit to GDP to 1 percent by Turkey’s centenary in 2023, according to the “AK Party 2023 Political Vision” book distributed at the congress.
Transfers from the general budget to the social security system totaled 5.1 percent of GDP in the first half of 2012, daily Radikal reported yesterday, adding that the figure was close to 5.5 percent in 2009 before receding to 4.1 percent last year.

Government aims for 5 percent unemployment
Another major macroeconomic goal is to decrease the rate of unemployment to 5 percent from the current rate of about 8 percent. The government plans to allocate 1.5 billion liras to train 400,000 unemployed every year in addition to plans to decrease unregistered employment from 37 to 15 percent.

The booklet reiterated previous goals for the year 2023, such as making the Turkish economy one of the 10 largest in the world and increasing the volume of annual exports to $500 billion. The party also plans to increase annual per capita income to $25,000, build an economy worth at least $2 trillion by the centenary and enter the first league in the world in terms of research and development expenditure.