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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Contributed to the Country's Economic Growth According to Government Officials

Feb 24, 2016 09:27 AM EST

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Syrian refugees have been bringing a positive impact on Turkish output as the world's largest refugee population help boost Turkish economy. Turkey's economists and government acknowledged the fact, amid contradicting effects as the refugees are also straining the country's housing and jobs systems.

According to Reuters, the Syrian refugees are contributing to the Turkish economic growth in several different ways. It's reported that the migrants have bought goods such as refrigerators and cookers, as well as cooking oil, bread, flour, and building materials as the flee their country. The amount of goods adds up to a significant amount, considering there are currently 2.6 million Syrian refugees spreading across Turkey.

The refugees' spending also help the local economy. Most Syrian refugees have not been given work permits. However, reports said that some of them managed to get jobs and work illegally. The money they earn were in turn spent in the country, help feeding the economy. A statement from the government also revealed that it has spent almost $10 billion since the Syrian civil conflict started, pumping more cash into goods and services.

Syrian refugees in Turkey are spending at least 346 lira a month, as reported by Daily Sabah. That accounts for 0.5 percent of the country's GDP. It's believed to be partly responsible for an unexpected economic rise in third-quarter growth as the government also revised up its expectations for 2016 growth from 4 percent to 4.5 percent.

Global Risk Insights elaborated both the positive and adverse consequences Syrian refugees brought into Turkey. On a domestic scale, the refugees have filled many positions for cheap labor such as in manufacturing and agricultural sectors otherwise unfilled by local populations. Furthermore, some of the refugees also managed to set up successful firms, especially in the border towns of Gaziantep and Mersin. In turn, the Syrian refugees' involvement in the Turkish economy has also established a favorable environment for investors due to cheap labour costs.

On the other hand, other economic aspects in Turkey had undergone some setbacks due to the influx of refugees in the country. Turkey's unemployment rate has been increasing and peaked at 10.5 percent, with an even higher youth unemployment rate. Also, the fast-increasing population has strained public services including free health care. The influx of refugee is also pushing up prices, especially for food and rent in areas with large refugee populations.

Despite causing strains on some economic aspects, Turkish economists and government officials acknowledged that the 2.6 million Syrian refugees in the country have brought some positive impacts. Turkey's economic growth has seen an unexpected growth as the government raise its expectations for 2016 growth.

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