Can a country like Pakistan emulate Turkey?

By Ayesha Villalobos

The Turkish Experience

Turkey’s shifted her attention to the need for regional transformation by sharing her Turkish Experience Turkey has had experiences of the market economy for long years. Example of that was when Turkey has provided Georgia its free market experiences, offered consumer products, and balanced the Russian threat on the country to some extent. The Turkish experience will serve as a source of inspiration for countries of the region’ and that of its unique cross cultural nature and its broad experience of multilateral and regional diplomacy, and the overwhelming resiliency of her robust economy, while the Eurozone is experiencing a financial turmoil, Turkey exhibited an economic resiliency. Turkeys’ experience on regional economic cooperation among its neighbours’ by focusing on infrastructural cooperation such as transportation, telecommunication, and pipeline projects and factor movements such as trade in goods and services, labor and capital flows ,Turkey is in a proper position to organize ‘the dynamics of multilateral regional socio-cultural and economic cooperation in Asia particularly the Philippines. Turkey and the Philippines shared a common interest of solidifying the economic and business sustainability and trade flows to satisfactory level, by providing new market developments, good prospects and equal economic advantages in both countries and global trade through common goals.

Turkey’s External engagement

Turkey’s external actions can also be regarded as an outcome of Turkey serving as a” bridge and insulator” for external disagreement that are not of its making but from which it cannot readily remain detached. The emergence of the Caucasus, Central Asian and Balkan regions in the aftermath of the collapse of communism heightened Turkey’s porosity to and unavoidable interest in events beyond its borders and its control.

The increasing impact of energy in the world’s political and economic scene, and Turkey’s emergence as an energy hub Turkey now 

have emerged as a model for developments in every corners of the world. Turkeys trade engagements in the Asian region particularly the Philippines appear as bridging the gap economically from Europe and Middle East. Specifically, economic and geo-strategic engagements.


The Turkish Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (TCCP) was founded in 2008, with the objectives of promoting beneficial relationship, to develop understanding and cooperation and among Turkish and Filipino businessmen, entrepreneur, and business units to develop trade, business and commercial relations, encourage domestic investment to strengthen valuable cooperation towards economic growth and stability, particularly between Turkey and the Philippines. The TCCP provides profitable information and assistance to its members to enhance and establish domestic and international business opportunities.TCCP is the only private institution in the Philippines that promotes business and trade relations between Philippines and Turkey. What makes them distinct is that they employ a negotiation approach of “sector to sector” hence; making their business endeavours a productive one. This approach that TCCP has taken has indeed been to present Turkey as a ‘model’ and a ‘bridge’ to ensure domestic investments, economic security and prosperity between Philippines and Turkey. The present TCCP President Mr. Irfan Karabulut said that “the door of Turkey and Philippines belongs to us and everyone is welcome to enter “.

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The TCCP is also an official representative of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialist of Turkey (TUSKON) in the Philipines.TUSKON performs various trade bridges annually and established linkages of all its members. TCCP invites its members to participate the said activity for them to explore and gain new contacts for the advancement of the interests of their respective companies. TUSKON, shaped by different regional business federations throughout the country, was established in 2005 in Istanbul. Comprise of 160 stable business associations within TUSKON, which operate in eighty (80) different provinces of Turkey.

Philippines Economy at a Glance:

It is the world’s 46th economy ( as of 2010) Philippine GDP grew 7.3% in 2010, prompted by consumer demand a rebound in exports and investments , and election related spending .From the past decade, domestic demand and industrialization have increased which led the  country to shift from an agricultural country to an industrialized country .

The Philippines labor force of 8.9 million ( as of 2010 ) the agricultural sector occupies close to 32% but however , contributes only about 13.8% of GDP, for the workforce of industrial sector 13.7% contributing 30% of GDP while the workforce from service sector is  46.5% is responsible for 56.2% of GDP.

Philippines Dollar US$ reserve as of December 2010 reached the amount of US$62.07 Billion While the total value of export is at US$ 50.72 billion with primary export from semi-conductors and electronic products, transport, equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum, coconut oil and fruits.

Furthermore, the Philippines import was valued at US$ 59.9 billion with primary import of electronic products, mineral fuel, machinery and transport equipment, iron and steel, textile fabrics, grains, chemicals, and plastic.

Philippines major trading partners [1]

EXPORT                                                                   IMPORT

United States –                        17.6%                                       Japan              12.50%

Japan –                         16.2%                                       United States -12.00%

The Netherlands-        9.8%                                         China-                        8.8%

Hongkong-                  8.6%                                          Singapore-     8.7%

China-                         7.7%                                          South Korea- 7.9%

Germany-                    6.5%                                          Taiwan-          7.1 %

Singapore-                   6.00%                                        Thailand-        5.7%

South Korea-               4.8%


The aftermath of elections in 2002 to date, Turkey experienced a relatively significant economic benefit and demonstrated extensive economic growth performance. Moreover, in the years of crises in which the economy fluctuated four times between 1994 and 2001, Turkey was unsuccessful in becoming a regional power. Since the elections in November 2002, Turkey’s economy has been stabilized; the inflation rate has gradually been decreasing. With the aid of economic recovery and regional projects specifically through energy routes .Turkey has emerged as an absolute regional power in Eurasia in five years.

According to Dr. Elbe Akman “Turkey is one of the fastest growing country in the world ranking 3rd after China and India, one of the G-20 major economies. Turkey is also part of EU Custom Union since December 31, 1995. Turkey is a developed country. The first producer of TV’s and DVD players and buses, the second biggest commercial vehicle and cement manufacturer and the 3rd largest producer of steel and ceramic tiles and the first, in the world, to become the producer of Boron, 2nd of glass and 4th of large luxury yachts.

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While Turkey’s economy is robust, the Philippines manifested an impressive economic development, being the 33rd economy in the world by purchasing power parity. The Philippine economy in 2010 grew by 7.6% (IMF 2010) considered as the fastest growth in 34 years.

Why Invest in the Philippines?

The Philippines is the best money per value destination .It is cost efficient in terms of wages and labor standard expectations and low operational cost. It contains a strategic logistics access point in ASEAN+3, with strong remittances, its gross international reserves level above international benchmarks.

The Philippines exports many products with a very competitive price that may attract Turkish companies such as: computers and tires are among the fastest growing Filipino exports. Other products are , semiconductors and related devices, cotton and non –cotton household furnishings and clothing, automotive parts and accessories, electric apparatus ,household, fish and shellfish ,Bananas ( fresh) ignition wiring  set and other wiring sets which are use in vehicles ,aircrafts  and ship cathodes and sections of cathodes , of refined copper, gold ,coconut oil and petroleum products. ”[2]

Why Turkey?

“Turkey is a land of Youthful energy with average rate of 29.2,67.2 % of the population is between 15 and 64 years old, 400,000 graduates annually from 143 universities,24.7 million young, trained and motivated professionals.

A bustling Free Market economy, with GDP of US$1.44.3 trillion (2011), with GDP per Capita (PPP) of US$ 11, with GDP Growth Rate of 8.9 %( Q3, 2010), 15th largest economy in the world and 6th in Europe. A member of leading economic institutions as the OECD and WTO, Customs Union with the EU since 1996, Turkish GDP is foreseen to grow nearly $2 trillion by 2023, placing it on top 10 economies worldwide. Increased in export of 215.95% from 2002-2010.Exports to neighboring countries rose by 621% between 2002-2009.Export Target for 2023 is US$ 500 Billion. Turkey is developing as an investor country, 15th most attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment .Privatization and its $4.5 billion average per year investment program offering important opportunities for foreign investors. Total value of the projects undertaken by Turkish constructors until 2010 has amounted to $178.3 billion. A regional production and distribution centre for major global companies. Turkey offers modern telecommunications   and transport network, free privately –owned media (TV and Radio) which broadcast through two Turkish communications satellites. Site of the only F-16 fighter plane factory outside US. Turkey is also recognized as an emerging donor country.

Turkey’s Highlights on Turkish Products

Worldwide Standing                                     European Union Standing

No.1 Wheat Flour exporter                             No.1 supplier of Home Textile

No.1 producer of Dried Apricot                     No.1 Bus Manufacturer

No.1 producer of Hazelnuts                           2nd Largest supplier of clothing and Textile

No.1 producer of Organic Textile                   2nd cement exporter

2nd producer of Table Olives                           2nd Largest producer of Ceramic Sanitary Ware

3rd Largest Socks Manufacturer                      3rd Largest Light Commercial Vehicle manufacturer

3rd biggest Gold Jewellery producer               6th Largest producer of paints

4th exporter of Knitted Clothing

4th Largest Home Textile exporter

4th in Olive Oil production

Turkey has proven a relatively high performance in economic growth, Foreign Direct Investment movements’, industrial value added as percentage of GDP, per capita figures in purchasing power parity. Turkey’s economic performance has demonstrated stable and hopeful results for the whole Turkish influence and it has provided substantial benefits to the Turkish economy and its geo-political importance has significantly increased. Turkey achieved economic stability and is more resolute and enthusiastic to boost its export revenues by enhancing regional and global economic ties.

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Turkey’s geo-political significance is progressing with its geo-economic importance in the new age. Turkey’s growth and industry inclined policies have shifted from the area of public policy to a market-domain. These developments afforded Turkey with great opportunities with her; cultural and economic ties to shape a geo-economics space and turn out to be an instrument for global development. Turkey together with TCCP and TUSKON will continue to “build bridges, and fill the gap.”

Can a country like Pakistan emulate Turkey?

Turkey was both a neighbour and friend of Pakistan, However, the degree to which Turkey’s domestic arrangements and external policy

 inclinations have thus far been a source of desirability to other Middle Eastern states and the world. Nonetheless, Ankara has in the past generally been reluctant to present itself as a model to be emulated.

Turkey’s existence is a confirmation that a Muslim society can be governed in a democratic, responsible and transparent manner in accordance with European norms. Turkey shows the fact that European values indeed surpass geography, religion and cultures. Turkey is sending ‘the message of reform, modernity, moderation, and integration to the wider international community’. It is apt to suggest that Turkey’s effort of genuine economic, social and political advancement have been excellent.

It has been said that, in Turkey, ‘the old order is passing and a new one is being born’. While Pakistan is lagging behind, and unless Pakistan will undergo a major domestic transformation, and should it continue on its present political and economic dilemmas, Pakistan’s failure’ as a nation or its ‘loss’ would constitute a seriously undesirable development. Pakistan’s domestic changes should be her utmost priorities, the lack of shared perspectives, and mishandling of policies, had brought the Land of the Pure on the edge of Economic turmoil, at some point in a spiral downhill.

Pakistan should face the reality like the Turkish credo “peace at home peace in the world” that stability at home should come first. Pakistan might not be as compatible at this time as the originator of the envisioned strategic partnership, it requires a permanent change. Pakistan’s status now anchored above all on its domestic stability in a troubled and repeatedly hostile region. Her higher strategic interest should be enhance and encourage for Pakistan to mature and evolve in its own means, at least on present development. Pakistan is approaching the age as a nation, in a complex, dynamic society with diverse socio-economic and political interests. Pakistan should employ a mature approach to its regional and wider interests, and must have crucial steps to make. It is time for Pakistan to consider the liberty to make its own journey, and Turkey as its natural ally, will make it a possibility.