Turkey, US accelerate works to boost trade: Minister

                By Merve Ozlem Cakir</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkish and U.S. trade ministries is establishing a working group to achieve bilateral trade volume target, the country's trade minister said.</p>    <p>In February, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to further enhance economic relations, setting a goal of $75 billion in bilateral trade. </p>    <p>&quot;We are working on […] export booster activities especially in high technology products,&quot; Ruhsar Pekcan, Turkey’s Trade Minister, told Anadolu Agency following her visit to the U.S.</p>    <p>Pekcan attended a three-day business event in Washington earlier this week.</p>    <p>She was accompanied by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar.</p>    <p>Stating that Turkey aims to set up new free-trade zones specialized in R&amp;D, and high technology and high added-value activities, Pekcan said she invited American companies to invest in those areas.</p>    <p>&quot;These zones can be used by Turkish-American joint ventures. We are ready to support those who invest in free zones,&quot; she said.</p>    <p>Pekcan added that Tukey and the U.S. reached a mutual understanding on conducting joint works in the field of digital economy. </p>    <p>A delegation of digital economy from the U.S. is expected to pay a visit to Turkey in May, she stated. </p>    <p> </p>  <p>*Writing and contribution by Tuba Sahin

Turkey: Defense, aviation revenues reach $8.76B in 2018

             By Aysenur Saglam</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's defense and aviation revenues jumped by 31% to reach $8.76 billion year-on-year in 2018, an official announced on Friday.</p>    <p>Speaking at an award ceremony in the capital Ankara, Ismail Demir, the head of Defense Industries Presidency, said Turkey’s defense exports also soared by 20% to $2.2 billion during the same period.</p>    <p>&quot;Last year, we spent $1.45 billion for researches and development in the defense field,&quot; he said.</p>    <p>Employment in the defense industry sector surpassed 67,000 last year, Demir added.</p>    <p>Underlining the importance of developing and manufacturing original products, he said Turkey will continue its efforts to expand the sector. </p>  <p>*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

Turkey's aviation giant targets $10B turnover in decade

By Abdullah Ozkul

NIDGE, Turkey (AA) – Turkey's aviation giant is targeting a $10-billion turnover in a decade, an official said Thursday.

The Turkish Aerospace Industries Corporation (TAI) is also aiming to increase its number of employees to 20,000, professor Fahrettin Ozturk, strategic and technology head of the firm, said at an event in central Nigde province.

The firm ranks 64 in the aviation sector globally, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants it to be among the top 10, he added.

"We closed last year with $1.65 billion [turnover], we exceeded half a billion in export currently," he added.

Turkey became a country which is able to produce its warplane, helicopter, satellite, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Ozturk noted.

He also said TAI produces components for top aircraft companies such as Airbus and Boeing.

TAI, established in 1973 under the Ministry of Industry and Technology and restructured in 2005, works on reducing the foreign dependency in defense and aviation industry of Turkey. It produces planes, helicopter, UAV, satellite, and aircraft components.

*Writing and contributions by Gokhan Ergocun from Istanbul

Turkey's auto industry produces 360,000+ vehicles in Q1

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Automakers in Turkey produced 361,516 vehicles — including automobiles, light commercial vehicles, and tractors — in the first quarter of 2019, according to a sectoral report on Saturday.

In the January-March period, Turkey's auto production dropped 15% on a yearly basis, said the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD).

The report said 89% of manufactured vehicles were exported, marking a 7% annual decline to 320,213 units.

The country's automotive exports totaled some $7.9 billion in the three-month period, down 6% from a year ago.

The association also said Turkey's overall auto sales market narrowed 45% year-on-year to 90,888 vehicles.

Top international automakers — including Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Renault, and Toyota — have factories in Turkey, one of the world’s top auto sale markets.

In 2018, a total of 641,541 vehicles were sold in Turkey, with passenger cars taking a 75.8 percent share.

Last year, Turkey produced nearly 1.6 million vehicles, earning $32.2 billion from exports of some 1.3 million vehicles.

'Turkey aims to raise rate of exports meeting imports'

             By Ugur Aslanhan</p>  <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey aims to raise the rate of exports meeting imports and focus on e-commerce, the Turkish trade minister said on Friday.</p>  <p>Following Sunday’s local polls in Turkey, the economy will on the focus of the national agenda, Ruhsar Pekcan told a trade consultation meeting in Istanbul.</p>  <p>“In the upcoming four/four-and-a-half-year, we will have an agenda that will focus on projects and economy,” Pekcan said.</p>  <p>The Trade Ministry prepared several road maps, including on the update of Customs Union, Brexit, and new markets, she stated.</p>  <p>Pekcan stressed: “The upcoming era will be quite a performance period for us when we will take important steps in the economy.”</p>  <p>Also addressing the global economic problems, Pekcan said that it is predicted that the growth of EU economy and the world trade will decelerate.</p>  <p>“But developments in the technology area and new trends of the global economy create several opportunities,” she highlighted.</p>  <p>Pekcan said that the world has been experiencing a period when new generation technologies -- such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, e-commerce and Internet of things -- shape the world trade.

*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun

Turkey earns some $1.1B in hazelnut exports in 7 months

                By Gokhan Ergocun </p>    <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey sold over 189,000 tons of hazelnuts abroad in the first seven months of the export season, the Black Sea Exporters Association said on Thursday.</p>    <p>The hazelnut export volume between last September and this March fell 0.95 percent compared to the same period last year.</p>    <p>Turkey made a $1.09 billion revenue in hazelnut exports during the same period, down 10 percent.</p>    <p>EU countries remained the top export market for Turkish hazelnuts, buying over 76 percent, or around 144,000 tons, of Turkey's total hazelnut exports over the seven months.</p>    <p>Turkey, 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.

Turkey aims to raise machinery exports to Germany

            By Gokhan Ergocun</p>  <p> </p>  <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - The Turkish machinery sector aims to raise the share of machinery in the country’s total exports to Germany to 20 percent, the head of an exporters’ association said Wednesday.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>Currently, 15 percent of Turkey's all exports to Germany is made by the machinery sector, Kutlu Karavelioglu, head of the Machinery Exporters' Association noted in a press release.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>Last year, the sector sold machinery worth $2.5 billion to Germany, which he underlined is the world machine industry's center.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>He noted that Turkish businesses planned to join machinery fairs this April in Hannover and Munich to &quot;raise business contacts&quot;.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>&quot;During the rest of this year, our sector will raise contacts, and the sector will introduce their products in Hannover Messe and Bauma Munich expos,&quot; he said.</p>  <p> </p>  <p>Expressing that Turkey’s exports to Germany -- its main export market -- were unexpectedly affected by the ongoing global trade disputes, Karavelioglu added: &quot;Our machinery exports were under $400 million to Germany in the first two months of 2019.&quot;</p>  <p> </p>  <p>He also said Germany is a significant market for the machinery sector and that the country plans to invest €235 billion ($265.1 billion) in machinery exports in 2019.

Turkish simit chain CEO urges focus on branding

             By Gokhan Ergocun and Tuba Sahin</p>  <p>BURSA, Turkey (AA) - Turkish companies should focus on branding to export value-added products, the founder of a leading traditional Turkish food chain said on Saturday.</p>  <p>&quot;We managed that with simits,” the traditional Turkish sesame seed bread rings, Abdullah Kavukcu, the CEO of the Simit Sarayi (Simit Palace) chain, told Anadolu Agency. </p>  <p>Kavukcu said the company not only exports simits but also construction equipment to build its restaurants.</p>  <p>&quot;We created a brand name and also export our brand value,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>Kavukcu recommended that Turkish firms set a system which can deliver goods made in Turkey directly to customers from all around the world. </p>  <p>He highlighted that the company produces more than 60 bakery products in Turkey. </p>  <p>&quot;Currently we export to 25 countries and get 67 percent of our turnover from abroad,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>&quot;This year we aim to raise this to 75 percent.&quot; </p>  <p>Kavakci also touted the fame that Turkish tea has earned abroad. </p>  <p>&quot;There is a great interest in our black tea, served in delicate hourglass-shaped glasses. We carry and sell traditional Turkish tea glasses abroad,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>He said only 1 percent of its total customers abroad are Turkish, while the rest are foreigners. </p>  <p>&quot;The most important thing in retail is location. If companies want to be successful, they should choose the best places to open stores,&quot; he said. </p>  <p>Kavakci said the company aims to spread its Simit Sarayi brand name around the world. </p>  <p>Turkish enterprises are seeking world markets for their currency income, he added.</p>  <p>Simit Sarayi has outlets in 25 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium, attracting around a million daily customers.</p>  <p><br>

Turkey exports 35 million bouquets on Int'l Women's Day

By Hatice Ozdemir Tosun

ANTALYA, Turkey (AA) – Turkey exported some 5 million dollars worth of cut flowers to 20 countries on Wednesday, ahead of International Women's Day.

Chief of the country's Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters Association, Ismail Yilmaz told Anadolu Agency that after submitting orders for Valentine’s Day, florists have been working on Women’s day for the past 20 days.

"We sent 35 million bundles of flowers to 20 countries. We expect about $5 million in revenue," said Yilmaz, adding that exported flowers went mostly to Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria.

He noted that Women’s Day was celebrated more enthusiastically in Eastern European countries than in Western Europe.