By Gokhan Ergocun and Yunus Turk
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey is crucial for the wellbeing of the global economy and economic integration between Europe and Asia, according to the director of a leading think tank.
Turkey is a great, large and significant country that strides Europe and Asia, said Jeffrey Sachs, who heads the Center for Sustainable Development in the U.S.-based Columbia University.
"Turkey is also a transit country in the sense of goods going from Europe to Asia or from China to Europe, or information through 5G networks and fiber optics or fast rail, other or power transmission," Sachs stressed, adding that the country is a "major hub" and part of an "interconnected system".
"Turkey's leadership is extremely important," he said.
Noting the country's geopolitical importance, he underlined that Turkey, in cooperation with Iran, Arab countries and Europe could help forge a "peaceful, mutual cooperation."
Sachs stressed that a clash between China and the U.S. in a "new kind of Cold War" would harm the entire world, but Turkey in particular.
- World should warn US
Sachs asserted that some in the U.S. wrongly believe that China is an enemy, when it was actually a cooperative partner.
He added: "Of course, it's a competitor in some markets, but it's a very impressive country, doing many important wonderful things."
The U.S. ought to have good relations with China instead of imposing artificial barriers against it or any other countries, he argued.
He pointed out that the rest of the world needed to tell the U.S. not to "break the open trading system", and urge it against entering "another cold war".
Sachs said the greatest threat to growth was the trade tensions that the U.S. caused by "imposing trade barriers and new tariffs on China and other countries."
"Because if we close the international trade, this will cause the world economic slowdown and big uncertainty among businesses," he added.
Global cooperation, peace, ending wars and the use of renewable energy are key for growth and sustainable development, he asserted.
- Growth comes from technology, trade
Governments have a very big role in environmental protection, quality education, healthcare and upholding peace, Sachs said, adding: "This is not just a world of nations, it needs to be a world of united nations. We need to make the global cooperative processes work well."
While noting the use of monetary policy -- formed and implemented by central banks' raising and lowering interest rates -- as a tool for protecting economies, Sachs stressed that printing money or easing credits did not work to achieve economic growth.
Adding that credit policy alone could not solve geopolitical and environmental issues, he said: "Real economic growth comes from technology and trade, not from the credit."
He said: "We have a lot of investment needs in the world to build clean energy, clean transport and the broadband 5G networks worldwide.
"We're not seeing the public investment for sustainable development adequately. A lot of those investments require international cooperation and government leadership."