Recent figures show that 2018 has been very successful in terms of the sustainable growth of Turkish exports, which are set to end the year at an all-time high.
The government now expects that the rise in exports and the export-import coverage ratio will continue in 2019, as well as the continuing downward trend in the current account deficit, according to Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.
"We expect next year to be a year of strong performance in service exports with the support of both goods exports and tourism," Pekcan told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an interview yesterday.
She noted that the New Economy Program (NEP), announced in September, was founded on the basis of balancing, discipline and change and that the ministry continues to work in line with the program's objectives.
Indicating that net exports are expected to make a positive contribution to growth, Pekcan noted that NEP foresees the ratio of current account deficit to GDP falling to 3.3 percent in 2019. "We continue our efforts to achieve these goals," the minister said.
Underlining that they will carry out major studies to make export rise sustainable, Pekcan stated, "We want to complete many projects, including further increase the rate of high-tech industrial products from 3.3 percent in nine months of the year; increase service exports to include the technology group, such as software; focus on technology, design and branding; simplify legislation; boost digitalization; and facilitate customs processes or start long-term projects in 2019." Meanwhile, Turkey's exports saw monthly increases in the January-November period, reaching 154.2 billion, a 7.7 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Exports in the last 12 months now stand at $168.1 billion.
The government expects to reach the year-end export goal of $170 billion noted in the country's NEP.
Pointing out that significant developments will take place in the world in 2019, she said the World Trade Organization (WTO) is planning reforms and Turkey will be involved in these efforts.
According to the minister, while trade wars continue on the one hand, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the EU are expected to maintain tight monetary policies on the other hand. The minister noted that they would take measures against these factors that will partially narrow the market. Pekcan stressed that continuing growth in EU economies has positively impacted exports: "We expect our exports to the EU to i
ncrease in 2019 in which we need to focus more on design, branding, technology and value-added products and export. Our incentives and supports will be in this direction."
Underlining that major work needs to be done, Pekcan said: "For instance, while the Competition Act in Turkey has not been amended since 1994, the EU amended its own in 2003 and revised it in 2008 and 2010. We have worked on an international competition law. This is a crucial issue in terms of attracting foreign investors to Turkey, as investors take into consideration the competition law of countries to make investments there."