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Economic Outlook

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Turkey's proximity to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa gives it easy access to large markets through the Black Sea to the north, the Aegean Sea to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Likewise, Turkey's internal market, which is characterized by high population growth rates and growing incomes, should also experience rapid growth in demand for more food of higher quality.

Thus, agriculture in Turkey holds the promise of making a major contribution to Turkey's economic development. The principal objectives of the Turkish agricultural policy are set out in successive five year development plans. These are to stabilize agricultural prices; to provide adequate and stable incomes for those working in agriculture; to meet the nutritional needs of a growing population; to increase yields and outputs; to reduce the vulnerability of production to weather conditions; to develop rural areas; to promote the application of modern agricultural techniques and to develop the export potential of agriculture. As a result of the latter, agricultural exports have expanded rapidly over the period of the last decade.

Since its initial reform efforts in the early 1980's, Turkey has made significant strides in opening up its borders to imports and reducing controls on exports. Turkey has made moves to harmonize its trade policies with those of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association and has entered into new regional trading arrangements.

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