Revisiting the Export Vision… (Part I)

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.

When Turkish Exports Strategy for 2023 was first designed, the expected performance of World Trade in 2023 was 50% higher than current forecasts. It was predicted that Turkey will receive a share of 1.4% to 2% from this total figure. Therefore, it was expected that Turkey would reach 500 billion dollar for exports in 2023 on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.

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. So, since the last year, target expectations were being shaped in percentages instead of numbers. In the chapter below, you will find out the reason:

“You don’t live life according to plan, you live it as it comes…”

Economics only or the data we possess will not help us on our path to create a clear vision for our future. Political, sociological, demographic, and technological developments must be taken into account as well.

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 can cause significant deviations in future forecast given the variable rate of economic growth and other economic factors. So, Turkey must adopt an entirely different economic model than the ones that have been implemented so far in order to rank among the world’s top ten largest economies as we approach 2071.

According to OECD, World Bank and IMF data, it is mathematically proven that Turkey with its current economic model will still remain a G-20 member even in 2030. While Saudi Arabia is expected to rank right below Turkey, Spain will rank right above Turkey. Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, India and China, on the other hand, will be way ahead in the competition. In terms of economic growth and value-added activities, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria will most likely develop faster than Turkey over the upcoming period. Turkey’s GDP in 2050 is projected at around $5.2 trillion. According to this, there is a high probability that Turkey will continue to be a member of the G20. All these calculations are naturally made based on USD. It’s not an easy thing to predict which currency will rule as the World’s reserve currency over the next 50 years. It’s only natural to conduct such studies based on USD in order for researchers can develop a clearer perspective on the issue.

PS I’m going to share the second part of this report with you on Monday.