World Bank sees Turkish Economy Optimistic

Speaking to business daily Referans, Marwan Muasher, the senior vice president of the World Bank, says Turkey is well equipped to overcome the current crisis. Muasher also warns police forces not to use excessive violence against protestors during the Oct. 6-7 annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

As Turkey transforms from a “major borrower” to a “donor nation,” it is appropriate that the World Bank-IMF annual meeting is held in Istanbul on Oct. 6,7, according to a senior World Bank official.

Speaking to business daily Referans, Marwan Muasher, the senior vice president of the Washington-based World Bank, also said security forces should not be too harsh on the anticipated protesters.

“This year we chose Istanbul for many reasons,” he said, speaking in Ankara Tuesday. “Turkey is a very important country both in the region and in the world. It is at the crossing of two major continents; it is a country that is an emerging economy, a member of the G-20, a member of the United Nations Security Council.” Turkey is transforming from being a major borrower from the World Bank to being a donor, he noted.

Muasher, a Jordanian national, expects about 13,000 participants from almost all 185-member countries of the World Bank to join the annual meeting. “We also expect a number of civil society organizations,” he said. “Around 650-700 individuals [from such groups] usually register for accreditation and 400 join in the meetings every year. [This year] we might see more civil society groups due to the location of Turkey.”

Calling on police forces:
Calling on Istanbul police “not to use pepper spray” against protesters during the meeting, Muasher said that civil society has always been a key part of the process. “Even if they criticize the Bank, there is no reason to hurt [them],” he continued. “What is important is that the protests should commence peacefully and in an orderly fashion.”

Turkey hosted the IMF-World Bank annual summit in 1955 for the first time, and this year it will be the host again after 54 years. The summit will be held at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center.

Commenting on Turkey’s role in the global economy, Muasher said the country “can play a key role as a developing country that has achieved very high growth and that has extensive ties with both the developing and developed world.”

“In that sense, Turkey can play a key role as a member of the G-20 and beyond,” he said.

Muasher also said the World Bank “agrees with many voices in the poorest countries who feel that they have been left out of the equation.”

“[Another] measure that we feel is important is to be on guard against [the threat of] protectionism,” he told Referans. “With unemployment becoming a big problem in the current financial crisis, there is a concern that it might [trigger] protectionist measures in many countries. We continue to be on guard against that.”

The Turkish economy is expected to experience a “significant contraction” this year as unemployment rises. But due to “sound macro-economic measures,” implemented since the aftermath of the 2001 crisis, it is still in a good position, Muasher argued. “The danger of the crisis to continue for a long time in Turkey is very remote,” he said.

Muasher joined the World Bank as senior vice president of external affairs on March 16, 2007 from his most recent position at the Jordanian Senate. His career has spanned the areas of development, diplomacy, civil society and communications.

Kaynak: Gözlem gazetesi

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