Turkey sold products worth $74.66 billion in the first half of this year -- a 2.5 percent increase from over a year ago -- data from the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) has shown, sending positive signals for year-end goals.
At a press conference held in the southeastern Anatolian province of Batman, TİM announced that Turkish exports were growing despite problems and a diminishing demand by major trade partners. The country owes its success to maintaining a stable growth in exports to diversifying its target markets. Turkey sells goods to 241 countries and expects to commence exports to two new countries shortly.
Turkey experienced the highest increase in exports of mining products, with 30 percent between January and June over a year ago. The greatest amount of goods sold overseas were industrial products, with $58.75 billion in the first half of the year. The agriculture sector saw its exports hit $10.1 billion in the same period. The Turkish government had earlier set its target to reach $158 billion in exports in 2013. The fast-emerging Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member sold products worth 152.5 billion in 2012, with a 13.1 percent rise over 2011.
The Turkish economy recorded a 3 percent growth in the first quarter of this year, the 14th consecutive quarter of steady growth. Turkey expects to see the economy expand by 4 percent this year over 2012.
Commenting on his union's data, TİM head Mehmet Büyükekşi called on exporter firms to continue their hard work to branch out into new markets despite the global economic slowdown. Recalling that year-end growth projections for emerging markets deteriorated over the past few months while developed economies imported even less, he said Turkey needed to invest further in export markets. Referring to a drop in the value of the Turkish lira against foreign currency, Büyükekşi said further fluctuations would harm exports. “The valuation of foreign currency might have helped exporters earn relatively more; however, we need stability here, otherwise an overvalued lira could pose risks in the months to come,” he said. One US dollar currently buys TL 1.92 while one euro is traded at TL 2.51 -- much higher figures compared to last year.
Also evaluating the exports figures, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said in a written statement on Monday that they followed the developments in global markets closely. Çağlayan recalled that 20 of 27 EU members have been experiencing a decline in their imports, while the union's total imports have shrunk by 5.5 percent since the beginning of this year. The EU remains Turkey's major trade partner, with around 50 percent of Turkish exports to the union. “We send more than a quarter of our exported goods to North Africa and the Middle East. … This means Turkish exports depend on markets that are currently going through either economic or social troubles, but we will not be discouraged by this fact,” Çağlayan said.
Dependent on foreign energy imports, Turkey suffers enormous deficits in its foreign trade and this adds to its decade-old current account deficit (CAD), the economy's soft belly. The Turkish CAD was just below $50 billion last year, a worrying amount, although it has declined noticeably over 2011.
CihanGüncelleme Tarihi: 02 Temmuz 2013, 11:48