World Bulletin/News Desk
The Turkish prime minister said Friday his country was set to cut its debt to the IMF to zero next week, a step that will turn Turkey from being a borrower to a lender in its 52-year-old relations with the fund and a clear sign that the country has achieved a major economic success within the past decade.
"We will pay the last installment to the IMF next Tuesday and finish the debts we have," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the opening session of the annual meeting in Istanbul of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The Turkish Treasury will repay on May 14 a last slice of $422.1 million and Turkey is set to loan the fund $5 billion, making the country the 23rd biggest lender in the international institution.
Turkey's last standby agreement with the fund was in 2005 and it expired in May 2008. The country has gradually reduced its debt from $23.5 billion in 2002 when the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party came to power.
Turkey signed 19 standby deals with the IMF until 2008 and borrowed nearly $50 billion in 47 years.
He said Turkey's foreign exchange reserves rose to $135 billion from only $27.5 billion dollars in 2002 when his Justice and Development (AK) Party came to power, adding Turkey continued to grow despite a global financial crisis.
"Turkey had a different position in the global finance crisis thanks to rooted reforms made in the past ten years. Turkey's projects are appreciated and its opinions are received in the global issues in economic growth, employment, sustainable development, energy and security," he said.
"As a result of the policies we have implemented, we continued to grow from the last quarter of 2009 to the end of 2012 together with a rising domestic demand and increase in exports. Unemployment rate which rose to 15 percent in 2009 due to global crisis decreased to 9.8 percent in 2011 and 9.2 in 2012. We can spend more on social expenses now."Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2013, 09:15