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Conference report

Is Turkey an Economic Exception?

Ifri roundtable, December 6th, 2011

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Speakers :

François FAURE, head of country-risk division at BNP-Paribas
Esen ÇAĞLAR, economist at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (Türkiye Ekonomi Politikaları Araştırma Vakfı - TEPAV)
Deniz ÜNAL, economist at the Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
Rémi BOURGEOT, economist, expert on emerging economies.

This roundtable dealt with the specificities of Turkey’s economy, which is completing major economic achievements in particularly difficult times. François Faure analyzed the risks of an economic backlash following the European crisis; Turkey appears indeed in a weaker position than in 2008 and difficult times could lie ahead. Esen Çağlar pointed out how Turkey progressed from a low-technology to medium-technology economy, thus ensuring considerable levels of growth. Yet, a renewed reform agenda is needed if Turkey wants to maintain its economic performance. Deniz Ünal addressed the issue of economic governance under the AKP and the consistency of their economic policy agenda. In any case, Europe will most certainly play a role in the country’s economic future. According to Rémi Bourgeot, the Middle East cannot provide an alternative to European markets even if it offers interesting opportunities for the Turkish South East. Turkey’s future growth will also depend on its capacity to impose itself as a corridor between Europe and its neighbours energy resources.

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