In the announcement made by TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan in the southern province of Antalya, Çağlayan said, “Such an increase shows that Turkey will surely go over the predicted growth rate of 4 percent in the framework of the medium-term economic program [OVP].” TİM data showed that exports rose by 7.3 percent in April compared to the same month last year, reaching $11.8 billion. In addition, exports during the past 12 months exceeded $140 billion. Büyükekşi said that Ankara ranked first by 37 percent in the category listing provinces that exported the most. Manisa followed, with an increase of 22 percent; Gaziantep with 16 percent; İzmir with 11 percent; and İstanbul and Adana with 7 percent. “With the global slowdown in the economy, trade activities have been decreasing since the beginning of the first quarter, and achieving such results requires hard work and major effort,” he said in his speech, adding that TİM had an export target of $150 billion, which will be achieved soon.
He continued, “The automotive sector ranked first for exporting the most products, totaling around $1.7 billion, while the chemicals sector came second with exports of $1.5 billion.” Next, the steel sector came third by exporting $1.4 billion. He added: “Industries exported a total of $9.9 billion, which is 83.8 percent of the total exports. Also in May, $1.5 billion of agricultural products were exported.”
Büyükekşi noted that the Turkish economy continues its steady long-term growth. “Due to ongoing economic issues in the global economy, the Turkish economy began the process of balancing, and exports will be the main driver of economic growth,” he explained. He made reference to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) that indicated a 23.7 percent reduction in trade deficit for the month of April, saying: “Imports have also decreased by 8 percent and went down to $19.3 billion, bringing the trade deficit to $6.7 billion. The export/import coverage ratio increased to 65.8 percent in April, which was 56.7 percent in the previous April.” He added, “The provinces that showed a decline in exports were Hatay by 2 percent, Bursa by 3 percent and Denizli by 4 percent.”
Economy Minister Çağlayan stated that the increase in the exports was the main driver behind last year’s economic growth of 8.5 percent and pointed out the importance of the export figures for the country, since exports to Turkey’s main trade partner, the European Union (EU), have decreased to 41 percent from 48 percent five months ago. He noted that although EU is crucial for the Turkish economy and Turkey wants the European economy to stabilize, the export market is not limited to EU. “The increase in exports by 10.3 percent shows the courage and success of Turkish entrepreneurs on finding more opportunities and entering other markets. We plan to expand more by focusing on exports,” he stated. Underlining that with the increase in exports and the decline in imports, Turkey’s current account deficit (CAD) is expected to decline. One of the ways the ministry is planning to fight the CAD is to create Turkish brands that are recognized worldwide, so the unit price of Turkish exports will increase. He also noted that the incentives given by the government to foreign investors are not aimed at every foreign investor, saying, “The incentives will be given to those investors who will bring value added and support technology, production and employment as well as exports.”
He also suggested that Turkish businessmen buy or partner with companies in Europe that are at the point of closing, adding that government will provide grants to these entrepreneurs.