By Tuba Sahin
Turkish economic growth for the first quarter in 2018 will surpass 7 percent, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Thursday.
"The point to which the economic growth has come is very healthy. In the first quarter most likely it will be well over 7 percent, we will catch again a growth rate close to 7.5 percent," Zeybekci said at the opening ceremony of the Exporters and Investors Summit, organized jointly by the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and Turk Eximbank, in the western province of Izmir.
Zeybekci added growth would be backed by the real sector, the private sector, investment, production and exports.
He added Turkey would break an export record by the end of 2018.
"We will revise our 2018 export target of $169 billion by surpassing $170 billion," Zeybekci said.
He underlined that Turkish companies had undertaken important projects despite limited opportunities.
Zeybekci stated that Turkey and Islamic countries benefitted from having young populations. However, a young population, if it is not utilized within the economy, can result in chaos.
"Therefore the real agenda of Muslim countries should be investment, employment and export. We have to create prosperity, we have to share it," he said.
Zeybekci also noted that Turkish private and real sector investments had risen by 82 percent in 2017 from 2016.
"There is no such number in the world. We will see a significant increase in 2018 [...]," he said.
Within the scope of the two-day summit, investors, exporters, and contractors are expected to explore how IDB and Turk Eximbank can provide support and assistance to boost Turkish exports and services in the world markets.