Economic Overview: Turkey has a volatile economy whose growth rate has exceeded 6 percent in many years (and reached 9 percent in 2004), but suffered sharp reversals in 1994, 1999, and 2001.
The government plays major roles in basic industry, banking, transportation, and communications, but privatization sales are currently approaching $21 billion. Agriculture still accounts for more than 35 percent of employment; the largest industrial sectors are textiles and clothing, but competition has grown sharply with the end of the global quota system.
The economy is burdened with a high current account deficit and substantial debt. The opening of a new oil pipeline and the promise of EU membership are expected to improve a relatively low level of foreign direct investment.
What to Watch: With a population of 72 million, Turkey is Europe's second largest market, the world's 17th largest economy and Europe’s seventh.
The country is a prominent actor in international trade and a hub for foreign direct investments.
Having joined the European Union, improved macroeconomic fundamentals and strengthened GDP growth by 7 percent on average over the last four years, Turkey continues its rapid integration into the global economy.
While Turkish contractors have undertaken $75.2 billion in projects abroad, the country attracted $20 billion in 2006, doubling that in 2005.
The country has been destined to be a bridge linking Central Asian oil and gas to energy-starved Europe. As a base of stability in an unstable region and a key ally of the Western world, Turkey is a land of opportunities.