Creating a study to be used as a reference by scholars and researchers is as hard as predicting the future.
“Milestones in Turkish Economy” co-authored with Yalın Alpay investigates the challenges Turkish Economy had to go through over the course of a 100 years. Those who have read the book might have noticed that Turkish economy slowly became a service-based economy while former governments were trying to achieve a thriving industrial and agricultural system.
As we know, two key visions, namely 2023 and 2071 visions have been created in Turkey over the past few years. Today, Turkey is trying to present a solid record, a substantial evidence for 1000 years from the Battle of Manzikert which is the anniversary of the Turks’ arrival in Anatolia, while the rest of the world, on the other hand, makes the effort to make forecasts as accurate as possible until 2050.
In this respect, Turkish Exporters Assembly’s 2023 export vision is very well established to guide us through the future. Although Turkey’s current top 10 export industries are projected to still rank among the top 10 in 2023, there are certain expectations that at least one of the high value-added industries such as aeronautics and space, nanotechnology, high-sensitive optical and medical equipment, material technology and healthcare equipment will take 12th place.
However, while negative financial developments, that have arisen since the 2008-2010 period during which the plan was first prepared, caused World Trade to fall into a significant economic slowdown; economic instability in the Middle East and the big bottleneck of the EU economies have led to a certain decline in Turkish exports as well. In 2018, the year where I am currently writing this report, Turkey is still trying to outperform the 2014 export volumes.
“What will be our reference point?”
It is clear that the task of creating a vision for the future based on available data cannot be achieved only with help of economics. Increasing rate of political, social, demographic and technological developments should be considered as well when preparing a future vision.
When preparing a future vision, it is important to know where you stick the needle of the compass. This is called “finding the right reference point”. The nature of this reference point you will choose should be as stable as possible. Let’s say you take ‘technological development’ as your reference point. This may lead to severe mistakes when making future projections, because technological developments have open-ended natures and might evolve faster than we think.
Similarly, financial developments too can cause significant deviations in future forecast given the variable rate of economic growth and other economic factors.
For instance, the fact that while the GDP value of Turkey represented 1.3% of the world economy in 1985, this percentage remains almost intact in 2015; even falling from 3.6% to 2.4% among other emerging markets might be demoralizing to begin with for those making future forecasts. Besides, considering that Turkey no longer ranks, since 2010 to be specific, among the top 15 countries with the highest industrial outputs, I think our job to make the most accurate possible projection might be a little bit harder than we thought.
We highly expect TIM’s President Mr. İsmail Gülle to provide us with a brand new “Export Strategy” in due course. Accordingly, governmental bodies too are strongly advised to revise their targets based on current realities.