Turkey: Exports hit historic record

‘We reached the highest number in our history in exports, $15.1bn,’ says economy minister.

Turkey''s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ankara
Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ankara, Turkey, June 7, 2016 [Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Turkey’s exports is expected to rise to $170bn in 2018, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has said.

“We reached the highest monthly exports of our history in March … We will hopefully exceed $170bn [of exports] by the end of the year.” Zeybekci said on Monday.

Turkey’s exports in March reached a record $15.1bn, he said during a televised interview on private broadcaster CNNTurk earlier on Sunday.

The Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) also said in a statement that the country’s exports rose 11.5 percent year-on-year in March to exceed $15bn for the first time.

It said exports in the last 12 months had risen 10.5 percent to around $160bn and the forcast for 2018 is very hopefull. 

Trade deficit widened

Data from Turkey’s official statistics institute on Friday showed exports stood at $13.18bn in February. They also showed Turkey’s trade deficit had widened 54.2 percent year-on-year to $5.76bn.

TIM President Mehmet Buyukeksi said the assembly was aiming for exports to exceed $170bn at the end of the year.

Zeybekci also said he expected tourism revenues to reach $51-52bn in 2018 from around $26bn in 2017.

Tourism, a major source of funding to plug Turkey’s persistent current account deficit, is recovering from a sharp downturn caused by bomb attacks, diplomatic disputes and a failed coup.

Foreign arrivals surged over 27 percent in 2017 to 32.4 million, largely boosted by Russian tourists after Turkey patched up a rift with Moscow, concerns over security eased and the sector offered discounts to attract customers.

Source: Reuters