Turk Eximbank's support reaches over $30B in Jan-Sept

By Elif Ferhan Yesilyurt and Jeyhun Aliyev

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turk Eximbank provided worth of more than $30 billion of export support in the first nine months of 2018, according to the bank's head on Thursday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency's Finance Desk, Adnan Yildirim said the total amount of export support is expected to reach $43-44 billion by the year's end.

The bank's target was to support Turkey's exports with $46 billion this year, up 17 percent from 2017.

"We were working with 7,700 exporters before 2017. This number will reach to 10,600 by November 8," Yildirim added.

Since Turk Eximbank was founded in 1987, it conducts export credit, buyer credit, credit insurance and guarantee programs aimed at developing economic and political relations between Turkey and other countries.

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Famous Turkish delight sure to treat taste buds in UK

By Tuba Sahin and Dilara Zengin

ANKARA (AA) – Being one of the oldest sweets in the world, the traditional Turkish delight has become a part of the British society thanks to the U.K.-based Turkish company Truede.

Zeynep Turudi, the owner of Truede, told Anadolu Agency that the company sells Turkish delight in stores across the U.K. and exports to 15 countries — including the U.S., Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Germany and France.

Turkey exported Turkish delights worth $15.8 million in the first eight months of this year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The U.K. was the top export market for Turkish delight exports, with more than 520 tons for $1.57 million.

"Today, our products are sold in many markets in the U.K., and our lokum [local name for Turkish delight] meets consumers at the world famous British Museum in London," Turudi said.

Turudi, who grew up in London and studied computer science engineering, turned to the Turkish delight sector while she was planning to import technology products from Japan to the U.K..

“I saw there was a gap in the [British] market for authentic and natural Turkish lokum that was made from corn starch instead of gelatine. And so I introduced it," Turudi said.

She spent nearly two years doing market research to find the right manufacturer that would appeal to British tastes, Turudi said and added:

“Brits know Turkish delight and give it as a Christmas gift. They love different flavours and varieties, they mostly prefer rose flavour," she said.

Turudi said they use natural ingredients, including rose petals from the Turkey's southern province of Isparta — which is famous for its roses.

"Our products are located in the natural products department in stores. Consumers buy it without hesitation because our colors and aromas are all made from natural ingredients," Turudi said.

She noted that she does not only sell the Turkish delights in British stores, but also aims to draw attention to the Turkish culture motifs, such as ebru art (paper marbling), Iznik patterns on the packaging.

Turudi said the brand has also gone worldwide and she was invited to attend the International Visitor Leadership Program for entrepreneurs to represent the U.K. upon invitation of former U.S. President Barack Obama's along representatives of 33 other countries.

Turkey's export, import expectations down in Q4: survey

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's Ministry of Trade announced Monday the survey results of foreign trade expectations for the last quarter of this year.

"Foreign trade expectation survey reflects assessments of Turkish foreign trade depending on recent and current situations along with future expectations of leading firms," the ministry said in a statement.

It noted that the survey helps to produce indices which can be stated as leading indicators.

According to the ministry, export expectation index fell by 6.4 points to 111.6 in the fourth quarter of 2018, down from 118 in July-September period this year.

The index value was 123.7 points in the October-December period in 2017.

On the imports side, the expectation index decreased by 13 points to 100.1 in the last quarter of 2018, versus 113.1 points in the third quarter of this year.

Survey results showed that the import expectation index stood at 112.8 points in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Both indices with value over 100 points indicate a rising expectation, while the value below 100 points shows a downward outlook for the coming periods.

According to the country's statistical authority, foreign trade deficit saw an annual fall of 59 percent in August, falling to $2.4 billion compared with $5.9 billion in the same month last year.

As of August, Turkey's eight-month exports totaled $108.6 billion and imports amounted to $157.8 billion.

In 2014, Turkey's exports hit an all-time high of $157.6 billion while the figure was nearly $157 billion last year.

Over the past five years, the highest export-to-import ratio on a yearly basis was recorded in 2016 with 71.8 percent, while Turkey's foreign trade deficit has fallen from $99.8 billion in 2013 to $76.8 billion in 2017.

Turkey exports over 25,000 tons hazelnut in September

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's hazelnut exports in September totalled 25,220 tons, according to an exporters' union report on Monday.

The Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union (KFMIB) said the country earned some $135 million from hazelnut exports last month — the first month in the season.

The KFMIB figures showed that the European Union was the top market in September. Exports to the EU account for 77 percent of Turkish hazelnut exports.

Las month, the processed nut exports — worth $69.4 million — amounted to 48.6 percent of Turkey's total exports while the rest were raw hazelnuts.

Turkey, which is the world's largest hazelnut exporter, earned $1.78 billion with nearly 287,000 tons of hazelnut exports last season, from September 2017 to the end of August 2018.

EU top market for Turkish industrial products in 2017

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish enterprises in industry sector exported mostly to the European Union with 53.1 percent of their total exports last year, according to Turkey's statistical authority on Tuesday.

TurkStat said that exports of enterprises in industry sector totalled $88.8 billion in 2017 — some $47.1 billion of them to the EU — accounting for 56.6 percent of Turkey's total exports.

Near and Middle Eastern region was the second largest export market for Turkish industrial products with around $14.7 billion, followed by the countries in the North America with nearly $6.5 billion.

Last year, the country's total exports amounted to nearly $157 billion — including industry, trade, and other sectors — while Turkey's total exports to the EU was $73.9 billion.

"63.8 percent of exports to the EU [were] performed by industry sector and 34.4 percent of exports to the EU [were] performed by trade sector," TurkStat said.

TurkStat also said that top 100 enterprises performed 46 percent of the country's total exports in 2017.

"Top 5 enterprises whose main activity was industry had a share of 21 percent in industry sector and enterprises whose main activity was trade had a share of 14.7 percent in exports," it said.

"4.5 percent of enterprises exported to 20 or more partner countries and performed more than half 58.3 percent of the exports," the institute added.

UPDATE – Turkey’s business circle welcomes new economic program

UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM DIFFERENT BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish business people have welcomed the country's new economic program for the period of 2019-2021 announced on Thursday.

Nail Olpak, head of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said in a statement that the gradual economic growth targets mentioned in the new Medium-Term Program (MTP) are consistent with inflation targets through 2021.

"Setting practical goals and resting on systematic data is the most crucial aspect of the new MTP," Olpak said.

Olpak noted that the new MTP offers a very comprehensive content, including the business people's priorities of fiscal discipline, free market, struggle with inflation, sustainable growth and export.

"We will face difficulties in the short term, but economic growth will continue steadily in the medium-long-run," he said. "Now, it is time to take action, for all of us."

In another statement, Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) Chairman Ismail Gulle said that the new MTP is prepared in an extremely practical manner.

"Our year-end target is climbing over $170 billion in exports," Gulle said. "We also promise to achieve next year's export target of $182 billion."

"This year, net exports will contribute substantially to the economic growth, and it will continue next year," he said.

"At every opportunity, we mention that making value-added export is the most healthy way to achieve qualitative economic growth and to lower current account deficit.

"Every steps to improve Turkey's macroeconomic conditions will be based on export, and both numbers of our exporters and quality of our exports will increase," he added.

"We wish that the new MTP's implementation will be closely followed up and concrete results will be achieved rapidly," Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) head Erol Bilecik said in a statement.

Bilecik stressed that a stabile financial system is the the priority of the three-year period, as mentioned in the MTP.

"The continuity of a strong financial system is essential to maintain the real sector's contribution to production, employment, and growth," he said.

Bilecik noted that continuity of the current tight monetary policy and struggle with inflation, plus standing in the boundaries of the free market system also bear tremendous importance to reach the goals listed in the MTP.

"We will continue to put out all efforts for the success of the new MTP," he added.

Abdurrahman Kaan, head of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD), said in a statement called the new MPT "reasonable, measurable, and prudential."

Pointing to the quarterly-audit of the MTP, Kaan said: "It will support both the program's efficiency and the possible updates of macro plans by monitoring the micro changes."

"Such updates are essential to show rapid reactions against changes," he said, adding that close monitoring is also vital for the execution of the discipline stage of the program.

Kaan also said he has full faith in the private sector, and that it will do its best in production and employment.

Turkey’s business circle welcomes new economic program

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish business people have welcomed the country's new economic program for the period of 2019-2021 announced on Thursday.

Nail Olpak, head of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said in a statement that the gradual economic growth targets mentioned in the new Medium-Term Program (MTP) are consistent with inflation targets through 2021.

"Setting practical goals and resting on systematic data is the most crucial aspect of the new MTP," Olpak said.

Olpak noted that the new MTP offers a very comprehensive content, including the business people's priorities of fiscal discipline, free market, struggle with inflation, sustainable growth and export.

"We will face difficulties in the short term, but economic growth will continue steadily in the medium-long-run," he said. "Now, it is time to take action, for all of us."

In another statement, Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) Chairman Ismail Gulle said that the new MTP is prepared in an extremely practical manner.

"Our year-end target is climbing over $170 billion in exports," Gulle said. "We also promise to achieve next year's export target of $182 billion."

"This year, net exports will contribute substantially to the economic growth, and it will continue next year," he said.

"At every opportunity, we mention that making value-added export is the most healthy way to achieve qualitative economic growth and to lower current account deficit.

"Every steps to improve Turkey's macroeconomic conditions will be based on export, and both numbers of our exporters and quality of our exports will increase," he added.

EU posts nearly $5B trade deficit in January-July

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – The European Union foreign trade balance posted a deficit of €4.1 billion ($4.96 billion) in the first seven months of 2018, according to the EU's statistical office on Friday.

This January to July, the EU’s exports of goods totaled some €1.127 trillion ($1.363 trillion) with an annual hike of 3.6 percent, and the 28-member bloc's imports from the rest of the world amounted to nearly €1.131 trillion ($1.368 trillion), up 4.5 percent on a yearly basis.

"As a result, the EU28 recorded a deficit of €4.1 billion, compared with a surplus of €6.3 billion in January-July 2017," Eurostat said.

"Intra-EU28 trade rose to €2.05 trillion in January-July 2018, plus 5.6 percent compared with January-July 2017," the statistical office added.

One euro was exchanged for $1.21 on average in the January-July period in 2018, while the average EUR/USD exchange rate was around 1.09 in the same period last year.

Eurostat data revealed that exports to the U.S. — €232.2 billion ($280.9 billion) — accounted for 20.6 percent of the EU's total exports in the seven-month period, making the U.S. top export market for the bloc.

In the list of the EU’s major export markets, China, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey followed the U.S.

Over the same period, China became the number one import source for the EU with €217 billion ($262.6 billion) or 19.2 percent of total imports — by the U.S., Russia, Switzerland, and Norway.

The country-to-country figures showed that the EU posted the largest trade surplus with the U.S. — €79.3 billion ($95.9 billion) — and the highest trade deficit with China — €98.4 billion ($119 billion) — this January to July.

Germany top importer of Turkish hazelnuts

By Atakan Citlak

GIRESUN, Turkey (AA) – Germany was the top customer for Turkish hazelnuts, importing nearly 70,000 tons in the 2018 season, according to the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters' Union (KFMIB) data.

Germany has remained at the spot on a list of the biggest Turkish hazelnut importers for the past nine years, data compiled by Anadolu Agency showed.

The country earned some $424.9 million from hazelnut exports to Germany in the September 2017-August 2018 cultivation season.

Italy and France followed Germany with over 57,000 tons and 20,000 tons, respectively.

Overall, around 75 percent of Turkey's hazelnut exports were made to the EU countries, amounting to around $1.3 billion.

The country exported nearly 287,000 tons of hazelnuts to 119 countries during the export season, making a $1.78 billion revenue.

The export volume between September 2017 and August 2018 saw a 21.6 percent jump in the same period from a year earlier.

Edip Sevinc, chairman of the KFMIB, said that export figures met exporters' expectations.

"Rise in hazelnut exports on a basis of tonnage, as an indication of Turkish hazelnut's consumption in external markets, is hopeful," he told Anadolu Agency.

*Gokhan Ergocun in Ankara contributed to this story