Turkey's average per capita income now exceeded $19,000 based on purchasing power parity, meaning the country had reached 60 percent of EU and Japanese average level of prosperity, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said Hurriyet Daily News reported
Babacan's comments came in a wide-ranging speech during a fast-breaking iftar meal organized by the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) in Ankara.
Touching on a number issues regarding the local and global economic situation, he said the biggest challenge ahead of the Turkish economy was the high current account deficit, blaming rising oil prices and low savings levels.
Political agenda 'convenient for 2023 goals'
Babacan also promised that Turkey would have an intense "reform agenda" in the forthcoming period to deal with issues "especially in energy, where Turkey has challenges to decrease its imports, increase its efficiency and invest in nuclear energy."
He said the future electoral schedule would be convenient for realizing these reforms. "After the 2015 election, there will be no elections from 2015 to 2019 and 2019 to 2023. So if the country benefits from this efficiently and introduces the necessary reforms it will be very easy to reach its objectives by 2023," he said.
The first round of Turkey's presidential election will be held on Aug. 10 and the country's 18th general elections are due to be held in June 2015 to elect 550 new members of Parliament.
Turkey aims to become one of the top 10 economies in the world by 2023 and to increase its annual exports to $500 billion.
Pointing to "difficult periods" experienced by the world economy in the last seven years, Babacan said the "largest economic crisis of the past 100 years was still not over."
"Developed countries' high debt stock will remain on the agenda as a problem for many years ... We're seeing signs of recovery in these countries but this recovery, particularly in Europe, is not on a firm footing," he said.
According to the World Bank, the combined stock of developing countries' external debt increased by $464 billion to $4.9 trillion at end-2011.