Two rising powers: Turkey and China - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

Two rising powers: Turkey and China

A crowded group under President Erdoğan's leadership is conducting a program that includes China, Indonesia and Pakistan. Each one of the stops in the trip is important; however, we need to open a separate topic for China.

Turkey and China are two different countries. Differentiations, in a political, social and cultural sense, have a wide array. It's also not possible to say that China and Turkey have a mutual perspective on international political matters.

However, due to being one of the prominent countries, which we import to the most, in terms of being a direct foreign capital in the world, China and Turkey can come side by side despite all the differentiations. Thus, the first thing that comes to our mind on the matter of bilateral relations is; trading.

While Turkey and China didn't show much interaction in the 80s and 90s, as both countries became prominent in the global economy in the 2000s, they reinforced their economic relations with the strategic partnership they formed in 2010.

Chinese and Turkish economies

China's economic power is attracting more attention gradually, because China is turning into a key player in the global economy. Following the 2008 global economic crisis, China has been presented as a super power and thus, this answers why China became a key player.

Despite not having high growth rates due to the crisis' impact, with their growth rate around the 7 – 8% levels, it's almost certain for China to become the biggest economy in the world soon.

While China is right behind the leader, the U.S., in the list of the world's economic magnitude rankings with their GDP around 10.3 trillion dollars, according to the data from 2014, China is now topping the ranking, according to purchasing power parity, with their magnitude around 17.9 trillion dollars. In other words; they are the biggest economy in the world. As for Turkey; we are in the top 20 with national income magnitude around 800 billion dollars.

In terms of GDP, there is a serious difference between China and Turkey. However, as the world's biggest economic power, China is placed in the same income group as Turkey, in terms of income per capita; in other words, in the “high-mid income” group.

On the other hand, the differences in both countries', who successfully managed the global economic crisis, economies are also directed to their economic relations. There is a great gap between China's imports to Turkey and Turkey's imports to China. While Turkey's imports from China were around 24.9 billion dollars in 2014, Turkey's exports to China were around 2.8 billion dollars. In other words, there is a great amount of foreign trade deficit in the China topic for Turkey.

However, meeting this commercial deficit cannot be resolved by means of shutting the doors to China. The solution can be provided if the investors, businessmen and entrepreneurs, who accompany President Erdoğan, become more active and stronger in the China market. Acting contrariwise, in other words, turning our back to China, who embarks the global growth and is regarded to become the biggest economy by surpassing the U.S., will be equal to imprisoning the Turkish economy to certain limits once again.

Attracting investments from China, who is becoming prominent recently with their foreign direct investments, can easily finance the foreign trading deficit that will be formed due to the increase in importation.

They have successfully survived the global economic crisis

Following the global economic crisis in 2008, all the balances changed. In this process, which is developing in countenance of developing countries, new integration processes started between countries, especially BRICS countries. While developing economies, like Turkey and China, established their commercial relations, they are aiming at increasing their representation powers in international institutions. The requirement for these alternative institutions, which will be established by these countries, is now being stated louder.

In this process, where new balances will be formed, Turkey and China, who successfully survived the global economic crisis and continued their growth rates steadily, are two of the foremost actors. Both countries' mutual objective in economic growth and their fates on the matter of energy can pave the way for an economic and commercial cooperation between Turkey and China. Besides, it's possible to make the trading volume between these two countries more proportional by making strategic exportation planning.

On the other hand, while Turkey is developing its economic relations in the region, Turkey is also developing its commercial possibilities by not disregarding integrations China is involved in. As for the Chinese community's, whose incomes are increasing and interaction with the outer world is gradually increasing, steering towards consumption; it amounts to a wide market for Turkish exportation.

Because, in order for Turkey to continue its economic growth, developing alternative markets seems to be necessary due to the on-going nuisances in the EU and Middle East markets.


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