Turkey and the IMF
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"As you know, during my visit to Turkey this week I have addressed both the Economic Congress in Izmir, yesterday, and the Istanbul Forum earlier today. I have also had a series of meetings with members of the government and with others. Yesterday I met with Prime Minister Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Sener, Minister Babacan and Minister Unakitan; Governor Serdengecti; and other officials. Earlier today, I met with academics and with representatives from the private sector.
"As I said in my remarks both yesterday and earlier today: I am delighted to be here in Turkey at such an auspicious moment. The global recovery is strengthening, and Turkey's economic performance continues to be impressive. Growth was close to 6 percent last year, and is expected to be around 5 percent this year. The primary surplus last year was 6.2 percent, the highest ever recorded in Turkey; the government is confident it will meet the 6.5 percent target for this year. And as you know, consumer price inflation is now down to just over 10 percent, according to the figures released this week. That brings single digit inflation within Turkey's grasp.
"These achievements reflect the government's determination to stick with its economic objectives and its reform program. The government's commitment remains impressive. Much has been achieved: much remains to be done, as the Prime Minister noted in his address to the Economic Congress yesterday, so that Turkey can move permanently to a new era of higher growth and rising living standards for all.
"The pursuit of low inflation; fiscal discipline, exercised in a way that ensures sustainability over the medium term; further reform of the financial sector: these are all government objectives that the IMF endorses. They are the means to the end of sustainable economic growth. It is the Fund's role to provide advice and technical assistance whenever we can, in addition to the financial support provided under the current program.
"My talks with government ministers and officials were, as always, constructive and friendly. I was left in no doubt of the strength of the government's determination to stick with its economic objectives. I congratulated Prime Minister Erdogan and his colleagues on their achievements so far, and strongly encouraged them to press on with the measures that are ushering in a new economic era for Turkey: one that brings rapid economic growth, rising living standards and reduced poverty."
IMF EXTERNAL RELATIONS DEPARTMENT