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, June 7, 2016 [Umit Bektas/Reuters]
    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.

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    SOURCE: Reuters news agency


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