By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) – Members of Turkey’s business community hailed the country’s economic performance based on its gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate last year according to data released Monday by the country's statistical authority.
Turkey's economy expanded 1.8% year-on-year in 2020 despite the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, said the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The country's GDP at current prices stood at 5.1 trillion Turkish liras (some $717.1 billion) last year, said TurkStat.
In the last quarter of 2020, the economy posted an annual growth rate of 5.9%.
Turkey and China were the only countries that registered a positive growth rate among all G20 countries for which data are available, while the rest saw a shrinkage during the same period.
Abdurrahman Kaan, president of the Independent Business Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), said Turkey's GDP growth rate of 1.8% is praiseworthy.
He stressed that the world faced unprecedented uncertainty in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is a long and difficult way for Turkey's economy to achieve sustainable growth performance, however, Kaan noted.
Nail Olpak, the head of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said Turkey was among the few countries that registered positive GDP growth amid the pandemic period.
He said the 2020 figures sent positive signals for the country’s future.
The pandemic conditions effected Turkey, but the country showed its increasing potential in industry, adaption capacity and manufacturing power.
Despite some institutions' negative 5% GDP expectations for Turkey, the country grew by 1.8% in 2020, he said, adding it can grow by over 5% in 2021.
Ismail Gulle, head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), said exporters' contributions are significant in the country's GDP growth rate last year.
He stressed that Turkey will continue to be a leading country globally with its GDP figures in the coming period.
While global trade narrowed amid the pandemic conditions, several Turkish sectors posted historical records, he recalled.
"We observe that the Turkish brand improved. Our country is now in a more critical position in supply chains compared to the pre-pandemic period," he added.
Turkey's exports totaled $169.5 billion in 2020.