Use of lira in trade boosts new symbol

Use of lira in trade boosts new symbol

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Use of lira in trade boosts new symbol

The new symbol of the Turkish Lira. REUTERS Photo

The use of the Turkish Lira in foreign trade transactions has increased 21.3 times in the past 10 years, said Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, noting that foreign trade would be the biggest vehicle for promotion of the lira’s new currency symbol.

“The total value of Turkish liras used in foreign trade transactions was only $516.6 million in 2002, but this figure had risen 21.3 times to $11.1 billion by the end of 2011. The rate of use of the Turkish lira in foreign transactions was 0.6 percent in 2002 and had risen to 3 percent in 2011,” Çağlayan said. The value of the Turkish lira used in foreign trade in 2011 increased $794 million in exports and $1.8 billion in imports compared to 2010, he added.

In a written statement the minister said foreign trade would be the biggest source of support for making the national currency’s new symbol known in international markets. Figures for the first month of this year are also encouraging. A total of $820 million in trade was conducted in Turkish liras in January, Çağlayan said.

Turkey conducted export transactions in Turkish liras with 186 countries and customs zones in 2011, he said, adding that last year the rate of Turkish lira usage in exports was 2.5 percent. Iraq was the country receiving the most exports made in Turkish liras last year, with a total of $623 million. This was followed by Iran with $565 million, Germany with $292 million and Azerbaijan with $150 million worth of exports transactions conducted in liras.

The use of the Turkish lira in imports was also quite substantial, according to Çağlayan. “Imports transactions conducted in Turkish liras amounted to $7.5 billion in 2011. The Turkish lira was used to import goods from 127 countries and customs zones. The rate of Turkish lira usage in imports transactions last year was 3.1 percent,” he said.

Germany was the leading country for import transactions in Turkish liras, with a total value of $1.1 billion. Germany was followed by France, the United States and China. Turkey signed currency swap agreements with China, Turkmenistan, Russia and Iran, which helps increase the use of Turkish liras in foreign trade. Turkey’s swap agreement with China, worth 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion), was signed when Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Ankara last month.