By Sibel Kurtoglu, Etem Geylan and Kenan Irtak
Turkey is aiming for a $1 trillion foreign trade volume and a $2 trillion gross domestic product, the nation’s president said on Saturday.
“We need to double Turkey’s current growth in order to reach our goals for 2023,” the Republic of Turkey’s centenary, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEIK) general assembly in Istanbul.
Stating that the questions being raised about Turkey’s economy at home and abroad can only be dispelled through developing new approaches to technology and capital, he added: “High technological investments are the main ones among these.”
Erdogan said that these investments will contribute to the country’s current account deficit by decreasing the import of high-tech products.
“This is the rationale behind the moves ranging from the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to renewable energy, from domestic car [production] to the defense industry,” he added.
Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin launched the construction of the power plant at a ceremony in Ankara earlier this month.
The Akkuyu plant, located in the southern Mersin province, boasts four reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, and will be built by the Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom.
It is to produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity, which will meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.
Erdogan also stated that as Turkey’s economic growth increases, its investments will accelerate at the global level.
He added that some people were trying to use Turkey’s state of emergency to demotivate eager investors.
“For God’s sake, has the state of emergency been used in any area except for the fight against terrorism until today?” Erdogan asked.
He added that it was not hindering the fight for democracy, and rights and freedom.
“It only hinders terrorist groups like PKK, Daesh and FETO, nothing else.”
The parliament ratified on Wednesday a Prime Ministry’s motion, extending the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey for the seventh time.
Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following a deadly coup attempt by Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.