15 Mayıs 2011 Pazar

CHP forecast includes a $100 bln trade gap by 2023

The trade balance targets set by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, for the year 2023, the 100th anniversary of the modern republic, reflect a $100 billion gap, according to remarks by a top party official.

“The import target of CHP by 2023 is $750 billion,” said Umut Oran, responding to a Hürriyet Daily News question during a meeting with small group of journalists in Istanbul.
The party previously revealed its export target as $650 billion by the same year. Oran said unlike the ruling party, Justice and Development, or AKP, his party takes expected import volume of the country into consideration while forming economic goals for 2023.

“Turkey’s reliance on import items should lessen as soon as possible as the current trade deficit has already reached to an alarming level under the rule of AKP,” he said, blaming the government for relying on “hot money inflows” and forming its “green capital,” a term used often to describe the capital owned by Islamists.

Talking about the Canal Istanbul to be built by Turkey in Istanbul to connect the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea brought forward by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Oran said, “We should focus on projects in the Anatolian part of the country, rather than investing billions of dollars in Istanbul, which already attracts thousands of newcomers every day.” Noting that Istanbul’s population has already reached almost 15 million, he said, “If the migration continue in this way, the city population is likely to reach beyond 20 million in few years time.”

According to Oran, Turkey should focus on agricultural projects in cities of Anatolia. “Rural development for Turkey is crucially important,” said Oran adding that a land reform by distributing agricultural land to villagers who do not own land. “With this can try to sustain a reverse migration from Istanbul back to Anatolia.”

Noting that the CHP’s “family insurance” plan stipulates 600-1,250 Turkish Liras in financial aid to poor families, Oran replied back to criticisms saying, “The system will not discourage the poor families from joining the work force at all.” Oran said the family member who benefit from family insurance project of CHP would be the first ones to be employed in the case of job creation by the government or the private sector. “The total cost of the insurance project will be nearly 8 billion liras and Turkey has sufficient financial sources to provide such social aid.”

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