Turkey’s export markets will rebound in 2015: Economy Minister

Turkey’s export markets will rebound in 2015: Economy Minister

ANKARA - Reuters
Turkey’s export markets will rebound in 2015: Economy Minister

Turkey will close the year with around $160 billion worth of exports and 2015 will be much better, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said. AA Photo

There were big problems in almost all major trade markets in 2014, from Russia to Iraq, but 2015 will be much better for Turkey’s exports, said Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci on Dec. 26.

“We live in such an unpredictable region, where everything can change in a matter of weeks. So many negative developments happened in 2014 that 2015 can’t be worse. We expect Turkey’s trade to recover in the next year, especially with its southern neighbors,” he said at the economy ministry’s annual assessment meeting.

Despite macroeconomic, political or geopolitical problems in the European Union, Russia and Iraq, Turkey’s largest trade partners, Turkey was able to increase its exports to $131.4 billion in the first ten months of the year, and increase of 5.6 percent over the same period in 2013. Turkey will close the year with around $160 billion worth of exports, he said.

“2015 will be much better,” he noted.

Zeybekci said Turkey’s trade with Iran had been increasing by around 15 percent at the beginning of the year, but the country has begun to see a dramatic monthly decrease in trade with Iran of 45 percent since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) increased its activity.

Zeybekci noted more positive developments are expected in trade with Iraq, while problems in the Russian market began after the Ukraine-Russia disagreement.

‘Turkey to eliminate all trade barriers with Russia’

“We are in talks with our Russian counterparts to boost cooperation in many fields, including the agricultural sector. Technical committees from Turkey and Russia meet once a month. We have started an initiative with our Russian counterparts to eliminate all trade barriers, which we aim to accomplish very soon,” he noted.

Turkey’s exports to Russia and EU markets will most likely increase in 2015, he added.
Zeybekci also said the government is now working on a package to offer some $3.5 billion worth of incentives to encourage high-tech exports.

“We’ll be announcing the details of this package in a couple of weeks,” he said.

He also added that the share of high-tech exports is currently some 4 percent of Turkey’s total trade, and the government aims to increase this to 15 percent.

Zeybekci said the government has launched 117 damping initiatives in 54 product groups to prevent unfair competition and to protect local producers.

Meanwhile, the Economy Ministry recently launched an anti-damping probe. After claims that cotton imports from the U.S. are supported by U.S. Eximbank, a protection probe into mobile phone and tablet imports was launched after complaints from local producers.