Turkey to support exporters
Turkey will support Turkish exporters with TL 3.1 billion ($570 million) in 2019, the nation's trade minister announced on Friday. "We designed all of our export support to develop fields which contribute to Turkey's export potential," Ruhsar Pekcan said in a press release, Daily Sabah reports.
She stressed the support would accelerate the country's exports by encouraging value-added exports. In 2018, despite global trade wars, an economic slowdown and increased geopolitical risks, Turkey hit $168.1 billion in exports, a historic high, she said.
Exports were up 7.1 percent year-on-year in 2018, supporting the decrease in the foreign trade deficit by 28.4 percent to $55 billion. Imports also decreased by 4.6 percent to $223.1 billion. Both export and import figures were also lower than the $170 billion export and $236 billion import goals set in the government's New Economic Program (NEP), announced in late September by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.
Recent foreign trade deficit figures mark a significant improvement compared to the figures for 2017: $76.8 billion. The year-end foreign trade deficit expectation put forward in the NEP was $66 billion. The export-import coverage ratio increased by 8.2 percentage points compared to 2017 and rose to 75.3 percent. The overall foreign trade volume slightly rose by 0.1 percent to $391.2 billion. According to NEP, Turkey eyes to hit $182 billion by the end of 2019.
Speaking on how the ministry supported 12,555 firms in 2018, Pekcan said: "Technology, branding and design, which were our priorities, took the biggest share of our budget with TL 861 million [$159 million] in 2018." Some 600 firms' technology, branding and design activities were supported in 2018, and in the new era more firms will be supported, Pekcan underlined. Some 8,700 firms were supported with TL 520 million ($96 million) for international fairs in 2018, while TL 120 million ($22 million) in support was used for exporting firms' ads, branding, office, shop and warehouse expenses, she added.
In 2018, the ministry also spent TL 80 million ($14.8 million) on market research, e-commerce website memberships, procurement committees, and acquisition financing. In addition, she stated that last year firms' mandatory documents and competition projects were also supported with TL 80 million ($14.8 million).