Turkish exports reach all-time high in 2014
ANKARAThe 2014 exports of Turkey increased some 4 percent last year, reaching $157.6 billion, a record in the history of the modern republic, according to figures released by Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) on the first day of the new year.
Although the figure remained slightly below the government’s target at $160.5 billion, the record, which came at a time when Europe, its core market, is facing shrinkage risks and neighbors are challenged by internal tensions, was welcomed by the business organization and the economy minister.
Car sales have been a major drive, netting $22.3 billion, with textiles and chemicals following.
Minister Nihat Zeybekci also confirmed the figure was a record, noting Germany ($14.9 billion), Iraq ($10.7 billion), the U.K. ($9.7 billion), Italy ($7 billion) and France ($6.4 billion) topped the list of top markets.
Istanbul-based businesses shouldered some $68 billion portion of the Turkish exports last year, followed by Bursa ($12.7 billion), Kocaeli ($12.4 billion), İzmir ($8.9 billion) and Ankara ($7.5 billion).
“I would like to congratulate our exporters, who have broken a record despite political unrest in our close region and economic problems in many parts of the world,” the minister said in a written statement.
Turkey’s exports to Russia, which is facing a large depreciation in local currency and economic problems with Europe due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, fell 15 percent last year.
In the first five months of the year, exports to Iraq had increased some 11 percent. However, the clashes in the country driven by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants turned the tide, as Turkish exports to it fell 11 percent in the year end.
TİM Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi said in a written statement that the overall increase could reach some 8 or 9 percent, adding one percentage point to the national income, if these elements did not hurt the sales.
Büyükekşi also said exports to European Union countries slowed down in the second half of the year.
“We continue exporting at our maximum ability for sustainable peace, considering the fresh developments and emerging opportunities,” he said.