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    Turkey is Europe's ninth biggest economy

    Hürriyet Haber
    22.03.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkey has become Europe's ninth biggest economy on basis of its current prices and gross national product in 2004, said the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) today. The research by ISO stated that, with its dynamic population of 72.8 million people, Turkey is an important commercial partner with the European Union.Currently, Turkey has the second biggest population among European nations, after Germany. Turkey's population constitutes 15.87 percent of the total EU population.According to Turkish economists, if Turkey continues its successful pattern displayed in the past three years, Turkey could become Europe's seventh biggest economy.Analysts say that with its per capita income of 4,112 U.S. dollars, Turkey has the lowest income among the EU. Purchasing power of Turkey is also the lowest in all of Europe.Turkey is expecting a growth rate of 4.8 percent in 2005.The ISO report indicated that, for Turkey to shorten its entry talks, Turkey must increase its per capita income to EU standards, increase the level of income and welfare and bring its growth rates to the average of the EU.Looking at consumer price index, Turkey has the highest inflation rate among all EU countries. ''Inflation rate in Turkey will be around 9.6 percent in 2005.'' According to a business source, Turkey must roll back its inflation rate to 2-3 percent annually if it wishes to shorten the period of entry talks.From the perspective of an exporting country, Turkey was Europe's 15 biggest economy.  Turkey is the 10 biggest importer in the EU.The ISO research shows that in the past 10 years the amount of taxes collected have increased. The average tax burden in Turkey in 2004 was close to 26 percent.According to ISO experts, one of Turkey's biggest and serious problems are unemployment and the inability to generate efficient number of jobs.After the economic crisis in 2001, national unemployment rate in Turkey rose to 10.3 percent in 2002. 2004 figures indicate that the unemployment rate in this year was 10 percent.Unemployment rate in Poland is 18.7 percent, 17.9 percent in Slovakia, 10.8 percent in Spain and 10.6 in Lithuania.Finally, the amount Turkey allocates for research and development purposes is only one percent of its national budget.
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