Turkish economy may grow above 5 percent in 2021, says Finance Minister Albayrak
Turkey’s growth rate will be significantly above 5 percent in 2021 if there will not be another major wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said.
“All of the leading indicators indicate that the worst is behind and the recovery in the economy is uninterruptedly gaining pace in the third quarter,” Albayrak told Bloomberg, adding that he expects the recovery in the second half to be V-shaped.
The measures the government has taken and the packages announced rapidly and decisively were among factors that have supported this process, he noted.
Economic activity will gradually and continuously return to its normal course, and Turkey will end 2020 by positively decoupling from the world, the minister said.
“With help from our currency’s competitive level, the new economic model we have built to boost exports and tourism income and decrease imports will support our growth. We are resolved to make 2021 a year that will bring us closer to our potential through an inclusive and sustainable structure.”
Albayrak stressed that Turkey’s strong and entrenched health care system has qualities to alleviate the adverse economic effects of the pandemic.
He reminded that the Turkish economy grew 4.4 percent in the first quarter, yet shrank a less-than-forecast 9.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, but added that in this period, Turkey was among the countries that contracted the least among the G-20, the OECD and the European Union countries.
The minister also said the Central Bank’s recent policy through its liquidity tools will also be effective in curbing inflation, and that inflation will return to a path of deceleration in the upcoming period.
[HH] ‘More good news on natural gas’
The recent find of 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in the Tuna-1 field in the Black Sea is a terrific discovery and in the coming period, Turkey will quickly complete new seismic and drilling activities in the region, Albayrak said.
“The water is 2,100 meters deep. We drilled 3,500 meters below the seabed and discovered 320 bcm of gas in two layers. We will go 1,000 meters deeper than the discovery point.”
More good news may come soon, the minister said.
This basin has serious potential and the Sakarya block as a whole is an area Turkey will focus on in the upcoming months and year, according to Albayrak.
Asked when the production will begin in the Tuna-1 field, the minister said: “We are drafting our production plans so we can feed the first gas into the grid by 2023.”
“We aim to reach plateau-level production in the following few years. With production at those levels, our target is to meet 30 percent of our current consumption,” he added.