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Driven by export high, Turkish economy is at a 'turning point'

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Turkey's economy is at a turning point, with exports at an all-time high.

At a meeting with foreign investors organised by Citibank, Turkey's Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak said a new wave of investments in Turkey was bringing the country to a turning point.

"Turkey is a strong, large market with a middle class with growing purchasing power, rapid economic growth, and a gross domestic product that has tripled over the last 20 years," he said.

Read more: Turkey and economy news

And its export market has never been stronger. With a weak lira making goods attractively cheap, Turkish exports are finding their way into new global markets.

Data from the Turkish Trade Ministry shows that last year, Turkey's exports hit US$180.8 billion, while imports were at $17.7bn. This represented a record in the country's history.

Exports dipped this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, in June they recovered, reaching $16bn in September, outperforming the same month in 2019 and setting a new record.

This year, the Turkish Exports Assembly has set an export target of $165.9bn, placing Turkey in the top 19 countries in exports and imports.

Throughout Turkey, there are about 95,000 exporters. In September, the government released a list of the country's top 1000 exporters. Between them, these companies were responsible for two-thirds of the country's exports, worth $103bn. The largest exporters were in the automotive industry, including Ford Otosan and Toyota.

Albayrak said Turkey's appeal lay in its geographic location and strong logistics infrastructure, adding that the pandemic has highlighted the risk of depending on the East Asia region.

While the Turkish economy had taken a hit this year, Albayrak said that driven by export numbers, he expected Turkey to come out of the slowdown with a v-shaped recovery, achieving at least 5% growth in 2021.



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