Investment perceptions about Turkey have started to become positive again and funds are flowing back into the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said after a series of meetings with foreign investors.
“A large volume of funds has started to flow into Turkey. I see a huge demand from investors regarding Turkey,” Şimşek said. The recent decline in oil prices has had a positive effect on the Turkish economy, as the country is highly dependent on foreign energy sources, he added. “Our energy imports were worth around $9 billion in 2002, but they increased to $60 billion a few years ago. This was too much for us, so the recent decrease in oil prices will very positively affect Turkey’s economic outlook and economic performance,” Şimşek said. He added that he expects Turkey’s current account deficit to decrease to 5.7 percent of GDP, although the deficit has yet to start seeing the effect of decreasing oil prices. “If oil prices decrease around $70 permanently, we would see our current account deficit fall by $15 billion … We cannot, however, rely on just the decreasing trend in oil prices. We must do more,” Şimşek added, noting that the government had already started a detailed reform program to encourage more added-value production and savings. The reform program, which was announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will enable Turkey to lure more investments, the finance minister suggested. Şimşek also noted that holding the current G-20 term presidency marks a “big step” for Turkey. “Turkey represents a good example for G-20 countries. We have announced and started to implement a detailed reform package that our deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan worked on for a long time,” he said. Turkey recently took over the presidency of the G-20 group of developed and major developing economic countries from Australia. Turkey announced at the G-20 Summit in Brisbane last month that its priorities would be investment, energy, trade, participatory development, climate change, SMEs and integrating developing countries into the world economy.