Turkey aims for $170 bln exports in 2018 after hitting $157 bln in 2017: Economy minister

Turkey aims for $170 bln exports in 2018 after hitting $157 bln in 2017: Economy minister

Turkey aims for $170 bln exports in 2018 after hitting $157 bln in 2017: Economy minister

Turkey is aiming to hit $170 billion of exports in 2018 after reaching $157.1 billion in 2017, a top official has announced.

Last year saw the second-highest export volume in the Turkish republic’s history with $157.1 billion, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Jan. 3.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Zeybekci said exports surged 10.2 percent in 2017.

He also said Turkey’s imports rose by 17.9 percent to reach $234.2 billion in 2017.

The rate of exports meeting imports fell by 4.7 percentage points to 67.1 percent in 2017 compared with 2016.

“Our 2018 export target is $169 billion, though we would like to climb over $170 billion,” Zeybekci said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

In December 2017, the country’s exports also rose 10.1 percent to reach $13.6 billion, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

Turkey’s total exports in November were $14.2 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK).

Incentive certificates drafted by the Economy Ministry have jumped 81 percent, Zeybekci said.

Rise in unit value of exports

Zeybekci said Turkey’s exports rose nine percent in quantity and 1.5 percent in unit value. “The unit value of our exports has increased for the first time since 2013,” he added.

He said Turkey would exceed the $157.6 billion export volume, which marks a historical high, in a few weeks.

The last time the country’s exports rose with a double-digit percentage was in 2012, he added.

By way of comparison, he said U.S., EU and Chinese exports were up 6.2 percent, 7.4 percent and 7.5 percent respectively, on a year-on-year basis in 2017.

Turkey’s increased foreign trade volume, which includes all exports and imports of merchandise and services, is expected to reach $468 billion, Zeybekci said.

“Turkey’s enlarged exports were $211.6 billion and enlarged imports were $256.3 billion in 2017,” he said.

The percentage of imports covered by exports was 82.6 percent in 2017, he noted.

Stressing a rise in Turkey’s share of global trade, from 0.55 percent in 2002 to 0.97 percent in 2017, Zeybekci said Turkey’s goal was “to raise this share to 1.5 percent.”

The automotive sector accounted for 15.3 percent of the country’s total exports in 2017, up from 9.2 percent in 2002, he said.

He added that Turkey’s agricultural products exports also rose to $16.9 billion in the year, up from $3.75 billion in 2002.

“Our constant goal is to add technology-intensive, design-intensive and brand-intensive sectors to our exports,” he said.