3rd Advisory Board Meeting of NHDR

May 6, 2016

Statement by
Kamal Malhotra
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Turkey
Resident Representative, UNDP Turkey

 

Distinguished participants,

Let me start by thanking all of you, members of the Advisory Board, the Technical Team, and the UNDP Country Office for contributing to our work on Turkey’s Human Development Report on inclusive growth.

As the members of the Advisory Board and Technical Team may remember, we last met in Istanbul over seven months ago. In that meeting, the NHDR Technical Team Leader Prof. Erol Taymaz made a presentation and talked about the conceptual framework for Inclusive Growth in Turkey. He discussed whether inclusive growth is crucial for Turkey and examined the conceptual framework of inclusive growth in terms of its definitions and indicators.

Furthermore, Prof. Taymaz shared the approach and topics that will be covered in the report. More specifically, it was mentioned that both processes, i.e. equality in access to opportunities, and outcomes, and equality in access to the benefits of economic growth will be encompassed. It was also noted that equality needed to be looked at in the context of all segments of society while outcomes covered both income (monetary) and non-income (non-monetary and non-market) dimensions of economic growth including participation in policy making.

Prof. Taymaz stated that participation in the growth process in the context of access to resources and opportunities by emphasizing employment generation and good-quality jobs will be one of the dimensions of inclusive growth. In addition to this, he mentioned that creating capabilities, in the form of skills, education and health, benefit sharing and security, in terms of social security, social protection and redistribution, and social reproduction and unpaid work will be other dimensions of inclusive growth. Following this, members of the Advisory Board made their comments and suggestions on the issues to be included in the report.

After this very productive meeting, we have come together once again today to discuss the way ahead for advancing the National Human Development Report. The technical team will now introduce us to the findings in the draft chapters that they will be using and will make presentations on the proposed content of the report.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As most of you know, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda was adopted at the UN Summit on 25th of September, 2015 in New York. There are seventeen new goals which will cover the period 2016-2030 and achieving SDGs will require fundamental policy changes in all countries including developed economies. In this context, this report will be highly strategic in terms of providing substantive inputs for the future prospects of the Turkish economy, and equally importantly, the outcomes of the NHDR report will contribute significantly to the implementation process of the SDGs in Turkey.

Furthermore, UNDP Turkey has already initiated a related technical project that is financed by the European Commission. In this project, the sectoral analysis of total factor productivity (TFP) will be examined for the manufacturing industry in the Turkish economy. I have to emphasize that this project is also very important for Turkey since Turkey is now in danger of being stuck in a Middle Income Trap and needs to improve its productivity in a sustainable and strong way. In other words, the transformation process in the tradable sectors of the Turkish economy will play a critical role if Turkey is to succeed in avoiding being stuck in a Middle Income Trap. In this regard, the NHDR on Inclusive Growth will be very useful by providing significant inputs for the TFP project. This project will involve face-to-face interviews and surveys with 3000 small, medium and big companies and will provide concrete policy advice to the government.  

As pointed out in the previous Advisory Board meeting in Istanbul, inclusive growth is vital for all countries including less developed, emerging, transition and developed countries for their long term growth prospects. It covers multidimensional aspects, i.e. both income and non-income dimensions of economic growth.

Income dimension of inclusive growth will mainly emphasize the economic aspects of the Turkish economy such as sectoral and regional transformation in the economy, long-term growth dynamics, productivity and wage dynamics, and the infrastructure from a supply-side viewpoint.

Non-income dimension of inclusive growth will focus on social issues of the Turkish economy such as income, consumption and poverty dynamics, employment and wages, capabilities in the context of skills, education and health, redistribution and social protection, social reproduction, and governance. In other words, non-income component of growth will deal with what is expected from economic growth and how the benefits of economic growth should be distributed.

It has to be highlighted that these issues will be discussed by making international comparisons in order to evaluate the relative performance of Turkey by addressing both the income and non-income dimensions simultaneously.

 

Allow me now to share some details about the planned activities of the NHDR preparation process. As I have already mentioned, we are here today together to discuss the findings of the draft chapters. After today, the technical team will finalize the draft chapters over the next month. The finalized version of the draft chapters and the whole report will be presented in October 2016 for comments by the Advisory Board. Before the last Advisory Board Meeting, there will also be some consultation meetings with academia, civil society organizations and government agencies and ministries planned for the last week of August and the first week of September 2016. The final version of the report will be launched by the end of 2016.

We also plan to continuously communicate on the NHDR preparation process as well as the topic of inclusive growth as a means to create awareness. We might seek your support on this at certain stages of the process.

Let me stop here and now give the floor to Prof. Taymaz, the leader of the technical team who will facilitate the discussion. Again, thank you for joining us today and I look forward to a fruitful discussion.  

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