Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said the government plans to extend this year the scope of the frequently requested Turkish lira loan support from the state-owned bank that supports Turkish exporters, Türk Eximbank.
"We are currently working to provide these loans, only used by small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs], to all exporters exporting in lira, thus encouraging trade in local currency," Pekcan said Friday at a press conference held by Türk Eximbank at the head office in Istanbul, where the new products of the bank, as well as 2018 operating results and 2019 targets, were disclosed.
Türk Eximbank General Manager Adnan Yıldırım and Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) Chairman İsmail Gülle were also present at the meeting.
In her speech, Pekcan stated that Türk Eximbank provided exporters with $27 billion in cash loans and $17 billion in export credit insurance in 2018, adding that the bank's total support increased by 12.5 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching $44.2 billion.
She said the support rate for Turkey's exports, which stood at 25 percent in 2017, increased to 26 percent in 2018 and noted that Eximbank ended 2018 by reaching 11,072 exporters, exceeding their target of 11,000 exporters.
Pekcan stressed that they give importance to the weight of SMEs among these exporting companies. "We put forward a strategy to turn our SMEs into exporters, and the weight of SMEs, which was 53 percent in early 2017, rose to 70.7 percent by the end of 2018. In 2018, Eximbank alone granted 53 percent of export credits in Turkey," she said adding that Türk Eximbank is Turkey's largest credit insurance company.
"The bank ranked seventh in international funding through syndicated and bilateral loans to diversify its funding structure, bond issuances and the funds received from supranational organizations," the minister noted.
She pointed out that Eximbank has become the country's eighth largest bank in terms of loan size, recalling while SMEs were given TL 4.2 billion in loans in 2017, this amount rose to TL 8 billion in 2018.
Touching upon the 2019 targets and strategies of the bank, Trade Minister Pekcan said they will produce new solutions to the different financing needs of the exporters in 2019.
"In 2019, our bank will continue to increase its cash loans and insurance support to our exporters. It also intends to increase the total financing support by 10 percent compared to the previous year and to provide $48.4 billion in financing support," she continued. "In this way, we will increase the rate financed by exports from 26 percent to 27 percent. By opening new branches, we aim to increase the number of exporters from 11,000 to 12,500 in 2019. Again, increasing our SME ratio here is one of our biggest goals."