Last month the focus of the Turkish diplomacy was New Zealand and Australia, with which we share fundamental values and principles as well as a common history despite the long geographical distance.
First, the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu paid an official visit to New Zealand on 13-14 November to explore new avenues for further increasing our cooperation and deepening our friendship, the foundations of which were laid down a century ago by our grandfathers in Gallipoli. Apart from his discussions in Auckland with the Governor-General, Minister of Foreign Affairs and other high level officials, Minister Çavuşoğlu also visited a dairy farm in Karaka region in Auckland.
Indeed, Turkey has become a rising economic powerhouse and a strong emerging power in the global economy. It is now an energy terminal and corridor in Europe, Asia, Middle East and the Mediterranean, connecting East and West.
Sound macroeconomic strategies, prudent fiscal and monetary policies, structural reforms that the Turkish government has been pursuing in the last decade resulted in high rates of growth and increased confidence in the Turkish economy. The economy grew with an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5 percent between 2002 and 2013. Accordingly, its GDP rose to a staggering 820 billion USD at the end of 2013 from 231 billion USD in 2002.
As a responsible stakeholder of the international community, Turkey increased its contributions to the efforts for achieving sustainable development and economic and social progress in the low-income developing countries. The amount of official development assistance provided by Turkey reached 2.5 billion USD in 2012. Our aim is to do our share for the creation of a prosperous world and a stable international order.
We firmly believe that resolutions of global challenges rest in global actions. In this vein, we see the G20 as the most appropriate body for global economic cooperation and policy coordination with its highly representative structure which includes the major advanced and emerging economies. It represents 85 percent of the world economy, 75 percent of world trade and two thirds of the world population.
Although G20 has been instrumental in contain the immediate effects of the economic crisis since 2008, there are still critical challenges that need to be addressed. For instance, the growth is still slow, uneven and not delivering the jobs needed. The potential of our economies has fallen and the inequalities kept rising all over the world. G-20, on the other hand has a comprehensive policy framework in different areas and substantial commitments to achieve the objective of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
The Turkish G20 Presidency formally started on 1 December 2014. We are cognizant of the huge responsibility that this presidency entails and the expectations from different parts of the world. While taking forward the existing agenda of the G20, Turkey will focus on ways to make the Group more relevant to the rest of the world, including the low-income developing countries.
We identified three pillars for the 2015 agenda: a) Strengthening the Global Recovery and Lifting the Potential, b) Enhancing Resilience and c) Buttressing Sustainability.
Next year, G20 will focus its efforts on ensuring inclusive and robust growth through collective action. This can be identified as the “three I’s” of the Turkish presidency: “Inclusiveness, Implementation, and Investment” for Growth.
First, inclusiveness. At the domestic level, we must ensure that the benefits of growth and prosperity are shared by all segments of the society. Therefore, we will put emphasis on issues pertaining to small and medium sized enterprises. At the international level, challenges facing the low-income developing countries will be raised more vocally. This will be one of the defining aspects of the Turkish presidency.
Secondly, implementation. The G20 has so far taken significant strides in designing and launching policy frameworks in many areas. Members of the G20 agreed on the Brisbane Action Plan and pledged to undertake about 1000 commitments in November 2014. If fully implemented, this will add more than USD 2 trillion to the global GDP and generate millions of additional jobs for our citizens by 2018. Next year will be the time for the deeds and the year of implementation.
Thirdly, investment. Turkey will emphasize investments as a powerful driver of growth. Building on existing works, we will introduce a new narrative that will address the investment gaps of the member countries via concrete and ambitious investment strategies.
Turkish Presidency will place development at the center of its G20 agenda, because not only the world's economies shrink during times when economic growth slows down, but there are also important political and economic consequences. The 2008 crisis first occurred in the finance sector. As it was not taken under control immediately, it turned into an economic crisis. When the finance sector cannot support the economy, most of the time various problems arise in the real sector, followed by social crises, unemployment and uprisings.
In this respect, we believe that giving priority to support food security in the developing world is critical. We therefore will focus on sustainable food systems and improving productivity in smallholder farms. Turkey will be the first G20 presidency to implement the Food Security and Nutrition Framework.
Trade certainly is the engine of development. We need to create better interconnected economies through trade. The Turkish presidency will support the work to canvass the vast number of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements to have a better understanding of whether, as intended, they complement one another and act as building blocks to the multilateral system.
SMEs are major tools for expanding development and improvement to larger populations and, therefore, will be one of the main focus points during Turkey's presidency. We have already asked the International Chamber of Commerce to establish a World SME Forum. This Forum will act as a conduit to voice the expectations and concerns of the SME World.
Fighting corruption is our collective responsibility. During our Presidency, we will closely monitor the effective implementation of the 2015-2016 Anti-Corruption Action Plan. We will also work with the relevant international organizations and give particular importance to the fight against corruption in the public and private sector. As part of our efforts in this area, we will also emphasize transparency in government-business relations, as well.
Last but not least, climate change is one of the most urgent global phenomena we all face. Since it has no national borders, it certainly requires global effort. Turkey will take up this issue with a particular focus on financing aspect and pay special attention to the needs of the least developed countries. We will also conduct studies to improve the collaboration, dialogue and cooperation between the climate funds.
During the upcoming year, Turkey will channel the influence of G20 to reach at concrete and beneficial outcomes for the global community, since the G20 is a unique platform with the ability to provide impetus to today’s critical economic issues. We will also reach out to various stakeholders domestically and internationally. Our outreach efforts will include countries, international organizations, civil society representatives, trade unions, research centers, and other NGOs.
We hope to get concrete results until the G20 summit in November next year in Antalya, beautiful Mediterranean city of sun and mythology, that will benefit not only the G20 members but also the wider world, particularly the low-income developing countries.