Turkey's economy is a complex mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern industries, increasingly dominated by the latter. Turkey has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in industry, banking, transport, and communications. In recent years, the Turkish economy has expanded strongly, registering growth rates of 8.9% and 7.4% for the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years, respectively.
The CIA classifies Turkey as a developed country. Turkey is often classified as a newly industrialized country by economists and political scientists, and is a founding member of the OECD (1961) and the G-20 major economies (1999). Since December 31, 1995, Turkey is also a part of the EU Customs Union. Turkey's per-capita GDP places it among the upper-middle income countries. According to Forbes magazine, Istanbul, Turkey's financial capital, had a total of 35 billionaires as of March 2008 (up from 25 in 2007), ranking 4th in the world behind Moscow (74 billionaires), New York City (71 billionaires) and London (36 billionaires), while ranking above Hong Kong (30 billionaires), Los Angeles (24 billionaires), Mumbai (20 billionaires), San Francisco (19 billionaires), Dallas (15 billionaires) and Tokyo (15 billionaires).
External trade and investment
Turkey is one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in central and eastern Europe and the CIS, with more than $1.5 billion invested. Of this, 32% has been invested in Russia, primarily in the natural resources and construction sectors, and an additional 46% in Turkey’s Black Sea neighbours, Bulgaria and Romania. In addition, Turkish firms have sizeable recorded FDI stocks in Poland ($100 million).
The Turkish Construction/Contracting Industry has been a significant player (e.g. Enka, Tekfen, Gama and Üçgen İnşaat, etc) as well as the three industrial groups, namely Anadolu Efes Group, ŞişeCam Group and Vestel Group.
Turkey's exports reached $115.3 billion in 2007, but imports rose to $162.1 billion, mostly due to the country's rising demand for energy resources like natural gas and crude oil. Turkey targets exports of $200 billion in 2013, and a total trade volume of at least $450 billion. Turkish export mix has changed considerably in the last two decades. Share of natural gas decreased from 74% in 1980 to 30% in 1990 and 12% in 2005. Share of mid/high technology products has increased from 5% in 1980 to 14% in 1990 and 43% in 2005.
Turkey's main trading partners are the European Union (59% of exports and 52% of imports as of 2005), the United States, Russia and Japan. Turkey has taken advantage of a customs union with the European Union, signed in 1995, to increase its industrial production destined for exports, while at the same time benefiting from EU-origin foreign investment into the country.
Turkey ranks tenth in the world in terms of the diversity of minerals produced in the country. Around 60 different minerals are currently produced in Turkey. The richest mineral deposits in the country are boron salts and Turkey’s reserves amount to 72% of the world’s total.
Turkey is an oil producer, but the level of production isn't enough to make the country self sufficient. As a result, it is a net oil and gas importer.
The pipeline network in Turkey included 1,738 km for crude oil, 2,321 km for petroleum products, and 708 km for natural gas in 1999. Several major new pipelines are planned, especially the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline for Caspian oilfields, the longest one in the world, which recently opened in 2005.
According to the CIA World Factbook, other natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestine (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower, and geothermal power.
The ore borax, from which boron is extracted is very abundant in Turkey. Turkey is by far the world's largest producer of boron.