Weak world economy does not daunt Turkish exporters
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARAJan 22, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Jan 22, 2016 12:00 am
Despite challenging global conditions, exporters have actually raised their share of global world trade, Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an interview with Andrew Jay Rosenbaum on Wednesday. "Turkey has performed very well compared to other economies, increasing its share in world trade. According to current World Trade Organization (WTO) [figures], our share of [total global] exports is close to 0.9 percent per thousand [in volume of goods traded]. We aim to raise this share to 1 percent by 2018 and to 1.5 percent by 2023," Büyükekşi said.
TİM intends to raise its share of exports to the European Union, its largest export destination, as well. "The proportion of Turkish exports of EU imports has reached a record 1.19 percent, according to the latest WTO data," Büyükekşi said. Russian sanctions have had little effect on Turkish export expansion, Büyükekşi added. "We continue to expand around the world, finding new markets."
The numbers support Büyükekşi's claim. In volume terms, exports have increased to key markets. "We increased our kilogram-based [physical volume] of exports to the EU, North America, Africa, and countries in Asia. There are also exceptions such as Saudi Arabia to which our export value improved 11.7 percent in 2015, compared with the previous year," Büyükekşi said. The volume of exports (kilogram-based) to the EU was 6.6 percent in 2015, he said. "We believe the TİM's activities have much to do with these improvements and in confronting the global economic challenges," Büyükekşi said. "For instance, we organized trade committees to 23 countries with 723 participants, and we enabled 2,160 bilateral discussions in this regard."
All exporting countries have been confronted with three fundamental challenges in 2015, according to Büyükekşi. "The first issue was the increasing value of the dollar against local currencies and the euro. The second challenge was the dramatic decrease in commodities prices, notably that of oil. The third main reason was geopolitical risk, which, in Turkey's neighborhood, has been more intense than in many other parts of the world. These three basic issues have given rise to a dramatic decline in the value of exports for countries all over the World," Büyükekşi said.
Büyükekşi cited the latest WTO data, which showed that, in 2015, goods exports decreased 16.7 percent from India, 16.4 percent from Brazil, 11.6 percent from Germany and 32 percent from Russia. "The decline in our exports is 8.7 percent, which is comparatively favorable," Büyükekşi stressed. He admitted that total exports fell $13 billion in value to $144 billion in 2015 from $157 billion in the previous year. "We forecast that our exporters lost a total of $23 billion because of the three main aforementioned issues. It means that, if we had not faced the global challenges, the adverse effects of the high dollar, commodities' price declines and geopolitical risks, we would have increased our exports in 2015," Büyükekşi said.
Turkey's success in facing these global challenges is due to a successful market expansion strategy and exporter innovation, Büyükekşi said. Increasing foreign direct investment in Turkey is supporting innovation, he added.
Exports, however, increased in volume terms by 13.9 percent to Africa, 11.1 percent to North America and 26.6 percent for countries in Asia, according to Büyükekşi. On the other hand, export weight declined in some markets such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and some Asian countries. Of course, there are various reasons of the diversity of those rates. International relations, legal arrangements and political issues are as effective as economic reasons for the volatility, Büyükekşi said.