Turkish PM: Istanbul, London deal will change history

Davutoglu says marriage of two economic centers will also serve as a remedy for EU economy.

Turkish PM: Istanbul, London deal will change history

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday that traditional and modern economics can only be understood by looking at the history of Istanbul and London.

He made his remarks at the Istanbul Regional Hub, Global Actor Forum in London where Turkey's stock exchange, the Borsa Istanbul, and the London Stock Exchange signed a partnership agreement. Ali Babacan, the Turkish deputy prime minister responsible for the economy, was also in attendance.

Davutoglu praised the agreement as a marriage of two big traditions and cultures. He described Istanbul as the endpoint of the Silk Road and center of the traditional economy before modernity and London as the capital of the modern economy after the industrial revolution.

He stated that the agreement between Istanbul and London signifies two centers and traditions coming together to prepare themselves for the global economy.

"The traditional center of economy, Istanbul, and the modern center of economy after the 19th century, London, are coming together to face the challenges of the 21st century: capital markets," he said.

The Turkish premier said the agreement, whilst not comprehensive, was a good start.

If London and Istanbul come together Europe will also rise, he added.

"Although continental Europe sometimes excludes British and Turkish traditions, if the two traditions come together that will be a remedy for Brussels," he said.

Davutoglu said that the cooperation of the rising and dynamic economic force of Turkey and Britain's longstanding tradition of modern economics will change history.

The prime minister said Turkey, thanks to good governance and political stability, has become a leading economy and no longer the "sick man" as it was termed in the last year of the 20th century.

"Having overcome the 2001 economic crisis, Turkey is now a rising emerging economy because of good governance, democratic legitimacy, political stability, trust and confidence," he said.

Davutoglu said his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party was tested several times by several elections, and survived the elections which served as an injection of political legitimacy.

"The rationality of the Turkish economy and a rational approach in Turkish politics created another [economic] success in 2014 despite two elections," he said.

The Turkish premier said that the current account deficit, once the illness of Turkey as he put it, decreased from $65 billion to $47 billion during their government's rule.

"What matters is not oil prices going up or down but the mentality, reforms and rational economic approach," he said.

Davutoglu said Turkey added 1.3 million jobs in 2014, which marks a total of 6 million jobs created after the 2008 global economic crisis.

"If Turkey were a member of the EU before the crisis, the unemployment rate of the EU would be less," he added.

He also praised Turkey's economic growth in 2014 which was 3 percent, saying it was less than expected but more than that of the EU markets which was 2.7 percent.

"This (Turkey's) growth is the second biggest in the EU and the third biggest among OECD economies," he said.

Davutoglu stressed that economic remedies and programs are important to this success, but political stability is even more important.

He maintained that visa liberalization with more than 65 countries and free trade agreements with more than 20 countries also enabled Turkey to become a rising economic power.

"Turkey's main force is not national resources or oil but manpower and it should be free to go anywhere it wants," he said.

Davutoglu described Istanbul as a real hub as "you can reach 60 countries in four-hour flights."

He said 57 million passengers came to Istanbul last year and they aim to reach 150 million passengers per year with the third airport that is being built in Istanbul.

"We will keep the historical character of Istanbul but at the same time make it a global city," he said

Davutoglu also said it is vital to deepen capital markets to make Istanbul a financial center.

"Without a deep, sophisticated, diversified capital market, the real sector may not have enough financial support," he added.

Davutoglu said that the Borsa Istanbul is the backbone of this strategy.

Last Mod: 20 Ocak 2015, 16:08
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