Turkey's exports rose by 11.1 percent in September over a year ago, amounting to $12.5 billion and bringing the total earnings by exporters in the first nine months of the year to $111.26 billion, corresponding to an increase of 0.6 percent over the same period of the previous year, according to numbers released by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) Today`s Zaman reported.
The 12-month cumulative number added up to $151.53 billion, registering a 3.3 percent increase.
According to the figures, the sector with the greatest increase in foreign sales in September was ship and yacht construction, with a 695 percent increase over the same month of the previous year. It was followed by the olive and olive oil sector with 82 percent and the automotive sector with 31 percent.
The automotive sector ranked first in terms of earnings, however. It earned $2 billion from sales overseas. The readymade clothing sector came in second and chemicals third.
The highest increase in export revenues was seen in Sakarya province with 42 percent in the ninth month. Ankara came in after Sakarya with 33 percent, and Bursa was listed third with 20 percent.
In terms of target markets, the increase in the EU's share among Turkish exports continued, registering a growth of 12 percent. Turkish exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CISs) also climbed by 12 percent. The Middle East came in third with 7 percent.
'Exports' future doesn't depend on Fed'
Speaking at a press conference in Artvin on Tuesday to disclose the September data and to share opinions about recent developments in the economy concerning the country's performance in sales overseas, the president of TİM, Mehmet Buyukeksi, said Turkey's performance in exports is not tied to the policy moves of the US Federal Reserve (Fed) or their repercussions on international capital markets but to the creation of more added value in exported products. He also added that attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) must be prioritized.
Buyukeksi said the Fed's decision to stall its exit strategy from the bond-buying program will have the worst effects on emerging economies, including Turkey. "What everyone agrees with is that the Fed will sooner or later hit the brakes on quantitative easing. So it is not really important whether this happens two months earlier or three months later," he said. Turkey should thus not allow itself be kept occupied by statements from the Fed, he noted, adding: "The critical issue for Turkey is the direction of capital movements. Net capital inflow has recently been on the decline, so we need to focus more on the products that have higher added value. Or else, the Fed will inevitably be in the center of our discussions," he said.
Buyukeksi went on to add that under the new global conditions, the prospects are becoming higher for increases in interest rates, appreciation of the dollar against other currencies, the decline of commodity prices, rising costs of borrowing and the direction of capital flows to dollar-denominated assets. "We expect emerging economies will suffer the worst adverse effects from these conditions, but these effects will be felt in the pricing of assets and stocks as a consequence of rising borrowing expenses," he said.
Buyukeksi said they were paying particular attention to the demand for imports, especially in developed countries and the main markets of Turkish exporters. "What falls to us is to keep on walking without dismissing the target of $500 billion in exports by 2023 from our minds. Turkey needs to focus on creating a profitable and stable new environment for domestic production. Entrepreneurs must invest, see support for a stable and competitive currency rate and profit from their activities. Then, exports will shoulder growth and employment."
Assessing the recent developments in the global economy, Buyukeksi said the economies of the developed world have been enjoying recoveries recently, whereas emerging markets are adversely affected by massive capital outflows.
This new period is also marked by explicit signs of recuperation in global trade, he noted, adding that the global economy is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 2.2 percent, largely owing to positive data regarding manufacturing sector performance in developed countries. Developed countries will likely register 1.2 percent growth by the end of this year, whereas this figure will be around 5 percent for emerging economies, he said.
As for the eurozone, which is particularly important for Turkey since it is the largest export market for Turkish companies, Buyukeksi pointed out that recovery in this part of the world has been significant, despite discrepancies between its members. He particularly mentioned Germany, Turkey's biggest trading partner, saying German production in August was the strongest in seven months and that the rally in its growth will most likely continue in the third quarter.
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