Turkey's 2017 exports will increase by over 11 percent annually to reach all-time high in the history of the modern republic, the country's economy minister said on Wednesday.
"We will exceed $157.6 billion this year, which is the historical high, with an increase of 11 percent over the year," Nihat Zeybekci said at Aegean Economic Forum in the Turkish coastal province of Izmir.
Turkey's exports rose by 16 percent in October compared with the same month last year, Zeybekci said.
"If Turkey and Greece can turn the Aegean region into the education, high technology, health tourism, renewable energy, software, pharmacy and organic agriculture center of Europe in the 21st century, the region will be rich as it was in the past," he said.
He urged the revival of business forums that were successes in 2014 and 2015 for Turkey and Greece.
"We will bring business people together in these forums, which will be held every six months between the two countries," he added.
Turkey's exports were $11.33 billion in September and $114.66 billion the first nine months of 2017, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly's (TIM) data.
The country's exports reached $153.02 billion in the last 12 months, TIM said.
The figure of $157.6 billion, which was mentioned by the minister, was reached in 2014, according to Turkish Statistical Institute's (TurkStat) data.
Located in the west of Turkey and on the shores of the Aegean Sea, Izmir, which is hosting the economic forum, was Turkey's third exporting city in the first eight months of 2017 -- amounting to $5.87 billion.