Turkey misses export target at $151 billion

Turkey misses export target at $151 billion

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s exports were achieved slightly under the government’s year-end target, remaining around the past year’s level at $151.7 billion, the country’s new economy minister announced.

The minister Nihat Zeybekçi, along with the head of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM), Mehmet Büyükekşi, attended TİM’s press conference, where it was noted that exports in December rose 9.8 percent compared to December 2012 to $12,996 billion.

With the announcement of December’s data, the total amount of Turkey’s exports through the year revealed to be $151.7 billion.

Zeybekçi told reporters that Turkey’s exports increased from $36.1 billion in 2002 to $152 in 2013 after “political and financial stability” was achieved in the country. However, compared to recent years’ impressive export growth rates that were achieved despite challenges in the main trade market Europe, 2013 will be recorded as a hard year for Turkish exporters.

The Turkish government aims to reach an ambitious amount of $500-billion exports by 2023, which looks less likely, considering some of the country’s chronic deficiencies, along with recently emerged threats to political stability.

The export’s driving force was the automotive sector, as car exports rose 11.8 percent on an annual basis to $21,305 billion. The chemicals sector, which posted an annual export down 0.4 percent, ranked second, accounting for $17,441 billion of sent goods, while the textile sector came in third, as its exports surged 8.3 percent to $17,373 billion.

Istanbul ranked first as the major exporting province of Turkish products with 70.7 billion in 2013, with Bursa coming in second and Kocaeli, an industrial province neighboring Istanbul, in third.

Due to the blossoming recovery in the 17-nation zone, exports to the European Union countries increased by 7 percent to $61.9 billion, while exports to the Middle East were also up by 2 percent to $27.5 billion, with an 82 percent increase in exports to Syria.

Figures show the neighboring Iraq has become Turkey’s second largest export destination after Germany. Exports to Germany increased by 3 percent to $13.3 billion, followed by Iraq with a 10 percent increase to $11.8 billion and the U.K. with an 8 percent increase to $8.5 billion