World Bank: Turkey Could Become High-Income Country In Five Years

paraaaaaTurkey could become a high-income nation within five years, provided the government boosts productivity and embraces much needed structural reforms to improve the rule of law, the World Bank’s country director said on Monday.

Turkey’s economy has enjoyed more than a decade of impressive growth under prime minister and now President Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling centre-right AK Party.

However, mounting global financial headwinds, along with a large current account deficit and lagging foreign investment, have taken their toll. The government has cut its growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 to 3 percent and 4 percent respectively.

The World Bank’s Martin Raiser told Reuters he was hopeful that Turkey can push per capita gross national income above the high-income threshold of $12,746 from nearly $11,000 in 2013.

“I would argue that Turkey is now in the position where it wants no longer to be in the basket of the Nigerias, but rather the basket of the Polands and the Mexicos,” he said in an interview.

Last week, Raiser unveiled a new World Bank report that showed Turkey attracting much less foreign capital since the global financial crisis after peaking in 2007.

In 2013, the government promised a raft of reforms aimed at overhauling institutions to attract investment, diversify production and boost participation in the workforce.

However, progress has largely stalled amid a bitterly contested election cycle and regional security challenges.