Its Gross domestic product (Gdp) has been rocketing by a 5,2% average on an annual basis throughout the 2002-2011 decade. That allowed Turkey to outpace leading emerging countries such as Brazil, Russia, Poland or Korea. And pharmaceutical industry is one of the pillars of its growth

Roberto Carminati

Recent figures released by the Turkish national institute of statistics pointed out that in its effort to become number 28 member of the European union the nation has been significantly strengthening its economy throughout the last decade. The result is an admirable growth that brought Ankara to a leading position among the so called emerging countries all over the planet. Its Gross domestic product or Gdp outpaced last year that of nations such as Brazil, for instance, South Korea or Russia. Back in 2002 local Gdp was 231 billion Us dollars worth; while at the end of 2011 it reached the record peak of 772 billion dollars. That translates into a 10.444 dollars pro capita Gdp, nearly three times more than the value archived at the beginning of the century (3.500 Us dollars).

According to the Organization for economic co-operation and development the best is yet to come. In fact, Turkey is about to display a 6,7% annual average growth rate in the next four years at least. And this turns the traditional gate between East and West into the fastest-developing economy in the Oecd arena. As far as last year the nation ranked number sixteen among the most-rapidly enlarging economies worldwide and was the fifth vastest economy in Europe, since in times of global crisis it recorded a 9,2% progress in 2010 an then improved again by 8,5 points in 2011. Whilst shrinking its debt from 74 to 39% in some ten years as requested by the European union parameters Tayip Erdogan’s government has also saluted a sensational boom in foreign trade. At the beginning of 2012 Turkey’s export was 135 billion dollars worth while in 2002 it would amount to 36 billion dollars only. Besides that both entrepreneurs and pundits refer to Turkey as to a nation of excellent technical skills and a mostly favorable environment for businesses. Also thanks to a wise strategy of investments which is about to become more and more robust in years to come, so to attract players and competences from the international chemical-pharmaceutical sector as well. Few steps have already been taken in this direction if last year’s At Kearney’s Fdi Confidence index could actually write that in the last nine years foreign direct investments floated to the Bosporus shores in the amount of 110 billion Us dollars. Turkey, as At Kearney’s report also stated, is thus nowadays considered the thirteenth most attractive global destination for foreign direct investments.

The best is yet to come

By the end of 2013 Ataturk’s country is also about to complete an ambitious institutional plan that the local government has launched ten years ago exactly and is set to radically transform the national healthcare system. Main goals of the project are on one hand a massive improvement in terms of quality of service and efficiency. And on the other hand a broader access to medical treatments nationwide. Back in 2010 Türkiye İlaç Sanayicileri Derneği or Ieis, the National association of pharmaceutical vendors calculated that the industry-related market had achieved a 9,2 billion dollars value and had been expanding at a 12,6% annual rate since 2003, engaging some 50 companies among which there are about thirteen multinational brands; and 25 thousand employees. The scenario has not faced any significant change since then although some strategic indicators have been recently weakening. Turkish expenditure for pharmaceuticals in general was expected to slow down by Business Monitor International’s analysts who witnessed a 5% decrease between 2011 and 2012. But the slowdown has not apparently affected the healthcare system as a whole since its value has risen from 49,75 billion dollars in 2011 to 50,84 billion dollars last year, +10,1 in local currency terms (being it the Turkish lira); +2,2% if expressed in American dollars. Medical devices were slightly increasing their value as well from 2,58 billion dollars to late 2012’s 2,64. And most of all nothing seemed to stop either the gold rush of foreign direct investment in the country, also despite forecasts of a lesser growth of Turkish gross domestic product in 2012 and 2013; or the efforts of local drug makers to gain a prominent role in the global pharma business. Business Monitor International has in fact noted how Abdi Ibrahim, depicted as the first Turkish firm «to make the list of the top 100 pharmaceutical companies in the world», acquired a majority shareholder stake in Global Pharm, one of the most important drug makers in Kazakhstan. But more than this Abdi Ibrahim itself spread the news of a joint venture with Japanese Otsuka Pharmaceutical aimed at pharmaceutical sales across the entire Turkish territory. Other operations were under way in 2012.