Turkey's pharmaceutical exports were up by almost 50 percent in the first nine months of this year, while the country saw a significant increase in its exports to developed countries advanced in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as Asian countries.
The pharmaceutical exports, which were covered by the "national production campaign," saw an increase of 49.4 percent year-on-year in the January-September period of this year, reaching $845.7 million.
Turkey managed to export pharmaceutical products to 161 countries in the first nine months of the year with Asian and Far Eastern countries, South Korea in particular, coming to the fore as the country's main export destinations.
There were also significant increases in exports to developed countries such as the U.S. and Germany. According to data compiled from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Turkey's pharmaceutical exports to South Korea, with which Turkey launched a free trade agreement on goods trade on May 1, 2013, rose six-fold compared to the same period of 2017, from $44.7 million to $254.2 million. Thus, South Korea led the way in the sector's exports, while the share of this country in the sector's total exports stood at 30 percent.
As of the end of September, Hong Kong was another market that stood out in Turkey's exports. Exports to this region surged by 81.5 percent in the first nine months compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching $16.7 million from $9.2 million. Exports to another Asian country Singapore also increased by 70.2 percent from $9.4 million to $16 million.
Exports to Germany, home to the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, increased by 43.4 percent on an annual basis in January-September period, rising from $12.9 million to $18.5 million.
In the same period, exports to Italy increased by 76.5 percent from $3.4 million to $6 million, while exports to Ireland, which remained at only $131,000 in the first nine months of last year, experienced a seven-fold increase, reaching $916,400.
Exports to the U.S., another strong market in the pharmaceutical sector, climbed by 22.2 percent in this period, from $1.8 million to $2.2 million.
In African and Middle Eastern markets, Libya came forward in exports with an increase of 35 percent in the first nine months of the year, surging from $15.1 million to $20.4 million.
In this period, exports to Sudan increased by 152 percent from $477,000 to $1.2 million.
Exports to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the other hand, rose by 84 percent from $5.6 million to $10.3 million, while exports to Oman also increased by 166.7 percent from $600 million to $1.6 million.
Meanwhile, in the January-September period, imports showed a limited increase of 3.4 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching $3.3 billion, leading to a 6.6 percent drop in the sector's foreign trade deficit.