( Todayszaman ) Turkey's exports in 2007 exceeded $100 billion as of September, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) figures announced yesterday during a press conference at the first parliamentary building in Ankara.
Year-on-year exports increased by 23.2 and hit $100.18 billion in September. Exports between January and September increased by 23.49 percent compared to the same period in 2006, totaling $75.95 billion.
State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen and TIM President Oguz Sat?c? were also at the press conference. The minister said $100 billion is a critical point but that it is also crucial to exceed this figure. He emphasized that this success showed that the market share of exporters could be increased despite instability, that manufacturing in Anatolia is possible and that exports are the engine of Turkey's growth and development.
The minister asserted that the $100 billion exports goal had been settled upon at the end of 2006, but many people said it was impossible given Turkey's circumstances. "We and the contributors to this success showed them that Turkey could do this," he remarked. Tuzmen said the annual income per capita is currently around $5,500 and that in order to reach per capita income of around $10,000 within five years Turkey's exports need to double to $200 billion. "The achievement of these goals will also show that the institutions of democracy are working very well," he stated.
He said 16 out of the total 27 EU member states did not have exports of $100 billion, adding: "We are 11th if we rank Turkey among EU countries and 22nd in the world, but our goal is to be 11th in the world rankings."
Sat?c? said they were experiencing hard times for manufacturers and exporters due to current monetary policies producing high interest rates and a low exchange rate. "But if this is an elimination process, we've passed it," he said. Sat?c? remarked that they had launched initiatives to improve railway networks between industrial areas and ports in order to increase competitiveness in logistics. Sat?c? and Tuzmen visited An?tkabir , Ataturk's mausoleum, after the press conference. Then the TIM delegation met with President Abdullah Gul .