Turkey names 2016 ‘Africa Year’ in trade

Turkey names 2016 ‘Africa Year’ in trade

İZMİR - Anadolu Agency
Turkey names 2016 ‘Africa Year’ in trade

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Turkish Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş has said 2016 has been named “Africa Year” in a bid to diversify Turkey’s export markets, as the country’s neighboring regions face deep economic problems amid the oil plunge and escalating security issues. 

“We have defined 2016 as ‘Africa Year.’ We have developed significant initiatives and plans to boost our exports and construction activities into mainly Central Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. We will also focus on two other key markets: China and India. The Americas will also be other priority markets for us in the upcoming period,” he said on March 18. 

Elitaş noted that Turkey’s share in the world trade was around 9.4 per mil, yet the government’s plan was to increase this rate to 1 percent in the medium-term.

The country needed to find new markets, as economic woes in the neighboring region have negatively affected Turkey’s trade, he added. 

Elitaş said the automotive, textile and construction sectors will especially play a key role in increasing Turkey’s exports across the globe. 

Turkey’s exports decreased by around 8.7 percent to $143.7 billion in 2015 compared to 2014 due to fluctuations in parity, a plunge in commodity prices and escalating geopolitical risks, according to data from the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM). 

The developments caused around $30 billion in losses in Turkey’s exports in 2015, Elitaş said at a meeting on Jan. 4 to release the TİM data, while adding that the government would retain its $150 billion target in 2016 even if there was no recovery from the problems.