Turkey’s vice president on Wednesday highlighted the country’s achievements in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic during a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF). 

Speaking at a special session of the WEF, Fuat Oktay said Turkey became a role model for the whole world in the fight against the virus owing to its accomplishments in many areas, including health, social security, digitalization and production.

“Turkey has written a success story,” he noted.

Referring to Turkey’s attainment of a positive economic growth rate for 2020, Oktay said “Turkey and China became the only G-20 countries which grew last year.”

Turkey’s economy expanded 1.8% year-on-year in 2020 amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s statistical authority announced on March 1.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices stood at 5.1 trillion Turkish liras (around $717.1 billion) last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

He also revealed the country’s ambition of being one of the major global manufacturing hubs in the post-pandemic era.

“We determined artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, big data, data mining, cybersecurity, robotics and sensor technologies as critical technologies that we will

prioritize”, Oktay said.

The vice president also detailed Turkey’s contribution to the global fight against the virus. Stressing that Turkey is among the five most vaccine administered countries in the world, Oktay noted that the country has sent medical supplies to 12 international organizations and at least 157 countries.

According to the Health Ministry’s official figures, Turkey has so far administered over 12.35 million coronavirus vaccine jabs across the country.

Over 7.98 million people to date have received their first doses of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, while second vaccine doses were given to nearly 4.36 million.

On March 1, Turkey started easing weekend curfews while continuing weeknight curfews to stem the spread of the virus. The country allows more face-to-face education and restaurant dining based on local risk assessments.

Oktay also warned against vaccine nationalism.

“No country would be safe without the equal access of all countries to COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

At the same special session, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of Finance and Treasury Lutfi Elvan also spoke on Turkey’s foreign policy priorities and reform agenda, said diplomatic sources.

*Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara ​​​​​​​

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