Turkey's economic results of 2016

Mehmet Buyukeksi
Mehmet Buyukeksi

The head of Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM), Mehmet Büyükekşi, said Turkey completed 2016 with a 0.8 percent of year-on-year decrease, but this shrinkage was not a big deal considering its difficult year. He said global trade faced a serious contraction in value last year amid oil plunges.  “The value of Turkey’s exports in U.S. dollar per kilogram regressed to 1.37 in 2016 from 1.44 in 2015. This regression costs $3.5 billion of loss in exports,” he added. 

“In addition to our crisis with Russia, the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya constituted another key factor that hit exports. Our exports to these countries decreased $3.7 billion in 2016 compared to the previous year. Another key factor that hit our exports was the loss of value of the Turkish Lira and the British pound against the dollar. Our loss due to the parities was $1.5 billion in 2016. All of these equaled to $8.7 billion in loss. If these had not happened, our exports would have increased by 5 percent to $150.8 billion,” said Büyükekşi at a press meeting in Ankara on Jan. 3. 

He also said the exporters’ group had declared 2017 as a “leaping point” for exports, adding that the 2017 export volume was estimated to be $155 billion in 2017, $1.7 billion above the country’s Medium-Term Program’s forecast. “We can proudly say, Turkey’s share of world trade hit a record and increased to 0.89 percent last year from 0.87 in 2015. Turkish exports’ share in EU imports also reached 1.28 percent, marking another record,” he added.        

New measures to boost exports

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci vowed to take all measures to boost exports in 2017. “We will take all measures to boost exports,” he said, adding that some 3 billion liras of new supports would be offered in the following days. Zeybekci said the EU again became Turkey’s top market with a 48.1 percent of share. 

“Our exports to the EU rose 7 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year. We expect the same trend will continue over this year,” he added. 

The automotive sector was the biggest exporter last year with around $23.9 billion in exports, up from $21.3 billion in 2015.  The second largest exporting sector, which was textiles, also witnessed a slight increase in exports last year compared to the previous year, closing 2016 at almost $17 billion.

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