Turkey's electricity consumption down 2.2 pct in Nov.

By Murat Temizer

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's electricity consumption decreased by 2.2 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry on Monday.

The country's power consumption was 23.33 billion kilowatt-hours in November.

Turkey produced 23.41 gigawatt-hours of electricity in November 2018 – a production decrease of 2.52 percent compared to the same month of 2017.

Turkey produced 29.20 percent of November's electricity from natural gas power plants while 15.28 percent came from hydro plants and 24.66 percent from imported coal.

Local coal plants contributed 17.83 percent to electricity generation, wind plants constituted 8.69 percent and the remaining 4.34 percent of electricity production was generated from geothermal, fuel oil and biogas plants.

Turkey's electricity imports from neighboring countries increased by 42.46 percent and reached 245.83 million kilowatt-hours compared to 172.56 million kilowatt-hours in November last year.

Also, the country's electricity exports to neighboring countries decreased by 2.34 percent to 328.71 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. Electricity exports in November last year amounted to 336.60 million kilowatt-hours.

In addition, Turkey's total installed power capacity reached 88.34 thousand megawatts by the end of November, according to official figures.

UPDATE – Turkey sees highest export figure for Nov. with $15.5B

UPDATES WITH TRADE MINISTER'S REMARKS

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's exports hit highest-ever November figure with $15.5 billion, according to the Trade Ministry's preliminary data released on Saturday.

Last month, the country's exports climbed 9.49 percent year-on-year while imports went down 21.47 percent to $16.1 billion.

The exports-to-imports coverage ratio rose to 96.3 percent in November, up from 69 percent in the same month in 2017.

On a yearly basis, Turkey's foreign trade deficit fell 90.5 percent to $604 million last month.

Preliminary figures showed that the country's 12-month rolling export volume also reached a new peak of $168.77 billion.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said in a statement that the year 2018 continued to be the record year in exports.

"It is pleasing to see the fruits of our efforts enhance Turkey's competitive capacity in global trade," Pekcan said.

"We are confident that Turkey will reach the year-end export goal of $170 billion noted in the country's New Economic Program [announced this September]," she said.

"We aim at creating an economy with higher value-added and having our country rank among the developed economies," Pekcan said.

"In that vein we’ll continue to focus on branding, design and increase the share of high-tech products within our exports portfolio."

She also noted that the number of countries Turkey exported to and imported from with Turkish lira reached 174 and 110, respectively, as of November.

She stated that the volume of foreign trade conducted with Turkey's local currency in November totaled 10.1 billion lira ($2 billion), of which 47.5 percent in exports and the rest in imports.

UPDATE – Turkey's foreign trade deficit falls 93.8 pct in Oct.

UPDATES WITH DETAILS; ADDS CUMULATIVE FIGURES FOR JAN-OCT PERIOD

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's foreign trade deficit in October fell 93.8 percent year-on-year, the country's statistical authority announced on Friday.

The country's foreign trade deficit in October totaled $456 million, improving from $7.3 billion deficit a year ago, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Last month, Turkey's exports hit $15.72 billion — up 13 percent on a yearly basis –, as imports dropped to $16.17 billion with an annual decline of 23.8 percent.

"In October 2018, exports coverage imports was 97.2 percent, while it was 65.6 percent in October 2017," TurkStat said.

Turkey's top partner for exports was Germany with $1.46 billion last month, followed by the U.K. ($1.07 billion), Italy ($877 million) and Iraq with $852 million.

"In October 2018, the top country for Turkey's imports was Russia with $1.86 billion.

"The country was followed by Germany with $1.56 billion, China with $1.37 billion and the U.S. with $883 million," the institute said.

– January-October period

Turkey's exports amounted to $138.7 billion in the 10-month period, marking an annual hike of 7.6 percent.

Imports totaled $190.3 billion — almost no change compared with $190.2 billion in January-October period last year.

Consequently, the country's foreign trade balance showed a deficit of $51.6 billion in the 10-month period, falling 15.7 percent on a yearly basis.

The EU was the top trade partner of Turkey, as exports to the EU were $69.8 billion — 50.3 percent of all exports — and imports from the EU were $69.1 billion.

Near and Middle Eastern countries with some $27.3 billion and African countries with around $11.6 billion were the other largest export markets for Turkish products.

On the imports side, the EU was followed by Asian countries with nearly $60.2 billion.

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's foreign trade deficit falls 93.8 pct in Oct.

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's foreign trade deficit in October fell 93.8 percent year-on-year, the country's statistical authority announced on Friday.

The country's foreign trade deficit in October totaled $456 million, improving from $7.3 billion deficit a year ago, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Last month, Turkey's exports hit $15.72 billion — up 13 percent on a yearly basis –, as imports dropped to $16.17 billion with an annual decline of 23.8 percent.

"In October 2018, exports coverage imports was 97.2 percent, while it was 65.6 percent in October 2017," TurkStat said.

Turkish firms seek bigger share of China's imports

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish companies are ready to get a bigger share of imports to China, which is set to reach $8 trillion in total imports within five years, Turkey's deputy trade minister said on Wednesday.

"We aim to balance bilateral trade between Turkey and China and attract more investment from China to Turkey," Gonca Yilmaz Batura stressed at a China-Turkey CEO roundtable meeting in Shanghai, said a press statement by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).

Last year, Turkey's exports to China totaled $2.94 billion, while its imports from China totaled $23.4 billion, according to TurkStat.

During the meeting, organized by DEIK as part of the China International Import Expo (CIIE), the Turkey-China Business Council — representatives of 35 Chinese companies with total revenues of $1 trillion — met with Turkish businesspeople.

On Chinese President Xi Jinping's call to invest in countries located along its One Road One Belt initiative, she said: "We’re ready to support projects of Chinese companies who want to invest in Turkey."

The initiative is China's global strategic partnership vision meant to connect Asia, Africa, and Europe via road and sea lanes.

"Turkey, which has a Customs Union agreement with the EU, provides the optimum investment climate for Chinese companies with its location," she added.

She said that to date Chinese companies have made $920 million in investments in Turkey, and Turkey hopes to get a 10 percent share of China's foreign investments.

China's foreign investments last year totaled $124 billion.

Turkish business body launches office in Tanzania

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) opened a representative office in Tanzania, an East African country, the business body announced on Wednesday.

As part of the association's trade diplomacy vision — to have branches in 100 countries by the end of 2018 — the number of MUSIAD's representative offices in 81 countries reached 211 with the branch in Tanzania.

Ibrahim Uyar, the head of MUSIAD's foreign organization and development commission, said Tanzania has a great importance in trade and business relations between Turkey and Africa.

Calling Tanzania as one of the most reliable and stable country in Africa, Uyar said: "With its almost 60 million population and investment opportunities, the country is an attraction center for business people."

"The trade volume between the two countries posts an upward trend," he said. "Although the current trade volume is below the desired level, the efforts are promising."

In the January-September period this year, the trade volume between Turkey and Tanzania recorded an annual growth of 61 percent, reaching nearly $190 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Over the past five years, Turkey's exports to Tanzania amounted to $620.3 million, while the country's imports from Tanzania were $184.4 million.

– 'Africa Year'

Uyar said that a total of 1.3 billion people live in 54 African countries, which is around 17 percent of the world's population.

"By 2050, the continent's population is estimated to reach 4.4 billion — 37 percent of the world's population," he said.

MUSIAD declared 2018 as the “Africa Year” to show the association's priority.

"The representative office in Tanzania is our 13th branch across Africa," he said, adding:

"We are aiming to operate in 30 African countries by the end of this year."

Last year, the share of African countries in Turkey's total exports was 7.4 percent, as imports from Africa accounted for 3.1 percent of Turkey's total imports.

In 2013-2017 period, the country's exports to Africa totaled $63.4 billion, while Turkey imported $29.6 billion from the continent.

Turkey’s marble export over $1.4B in 2018

By Canan Tukelay

AFYONKARAHISAR, Turkey (AA) – Turkey’s marble export surpassed $1.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2018, a local commerce office head said.

Turkey exported marble mostly to China, the U.S., Saudi Arabia, India and Iraq, Husnu Serteser, head of Afyonkarahisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Anadolu Agency.

"Turkey a prominent country in marble in terms of quality, color and varieties of stone," he said.

Serteser underlined that Turkey — a marble producer — can also produce marble processing machines.

"Previously, we use to import these machines from Italy, but now, we can produce them better than Italy," he added.

Turkey has several types of marble, such as white marble from the Aegean province of Mugla and the dark-red marble known as "cherry marble" mined in eastern province of Elazig.

Last year, exports of natural Turkish stone — including processed and uncut marble, granite, travertine, and slate — totaled 7.94 million tons or $2.05 billion, according to the Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association.

Turkey is also the world's top marble exporter, followed by Italy and Greece.

‘Turkey is on Taiwan's radar’: Representative

By Cansu Dikme

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AA) – Turkey is on Taiwan's radar, though not a part of its South Asia initiative policy, a Turkish representative in Taiwan said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Murat Baklaci, representative at Turkish Trade Office in Taipei, said: “Taiwan adopted a South Asia initiative policy. Besides this, it shows a great interest in Turkey and attaches importance to it."

“Though not part of its initiative to place importance on our country, Turkey is on Taiwan’s radar as a country at the Asian-most end,” said Baklaci.

Baklaci cited the rise in the recent figures of Taiwanese tourists visiting Turkey and said direct flights of Turkish Airlines almost reached their full capacity.

“In 2017, 70,000 people travelled to Turkey from Taiwan. We expect this figure to top 90,000 in 2018.

“Also, the Turkish Airlines flights are rather full. The occupancy rate is 94.5 percent for the whole year,” Baklaci stated.

He underscored the Turkish national flag carrier’s role in Taiwan’s interest in Turkey, saying its direct flights between Istanbul and Taipei — launched in 2015 — are one reason.

“Turkish Airlines plans to increase the number of flights by adding two more a week [to reach nine] due to the high mutual demand,” he said.

– Economic relations

Economic and touristic motives are behind the high demand, Baklaci said.

“For 10 months, I have constantly come across Taiwanese businesspeople who want to make investments in Turkey, especially in the machinery sector,” Baklaci said.

Baklaci was appointed as the Turkish representative of the Taiwan-Turkey Trade Office in December 2017.

He also mentioned two firms involved in electric motors and machinery equipment that are willing to make an investment in Turkey, while citing another company on solar energy that already made an investment in the Mediterranean Antalya province a few months ago.

Taiwan, an energy-poor island, strives to improve its industrial production for supporting its economy. The country prioritizes high value-added technological production areas, particularly renewable technologies, to expand its export product line-up.

The Turkish solar sector is among the high-potential markets and Taiwan aims at developing these kinds of solar foreign markets.

Stating that the current trade volume between Turkey and Taiwan is around $1.7 billion, Baklaci said Turkey’s exports to the country are almost $300 million.

The most imported products, on the other hand, are electronics and machinery equipment, he added.

Taiwan exports chemical and textile products, as well as olive oil and agricultural products, including figs, apricots and hazelnuts.

Meanwhile, Turkey will start exporting cherries to Taiwan in 2019, Baklaci said, adding the pre-export process concluded following the visit of a site inspection delegation to Turkey this year to observe the picking, stocking, packaging as well as the cooling chain.

“This is a startup to bring Turkish agricultural products to Taiwan. A memorandum of understanding on agricultural products was recently signed. So, cherries are an important product for us,” he said.

– Cultural, touristic ties

He added: “Our next goal is to expand the range of agricultural products being exported.”

Asserting that Taiwanese people have a great sense of wonder about Turkey, Baklaci said: “Especially, Cappadocia is in the limelight.”

He also said the Taiwanese voice interest in Turkish cuisine.

“Tour companies say Taiwanese taste Turkish cuisine wherever they go and say it is delicious.”

Baklaci said tour companies plan to offer different tour programs to the Taiwanese, giving an eastern Turkey tour as an example.

Stressing the “high tourist potential” for Turkey, Baklaci said Taiwan is a cultural draw for Turkish people in return.

He also voiced hope for the future of cultural and touristic relations between Turkey and Taiwan.

“Our biggest goal is to increase the number of tourists,” Baklaci said.

– Taiwan respects Turkey’s aid to Syrian refugees

Turkey and Taiwan have no diplomatic relations, but this is not an obstacle to building cooperation in various areas, according to Baklaci.

Among them is collaboration in aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey, he said, mentioning a Taiwanese relief foundation operating in Istanbul and the southern Hatay province.

He said the foundation provides education and free health care to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

“Taiwanese people respect Turkey’s hosting 3.5 million Syrian refugees,” Baklaci said.

Education, health and security are other areas of cooperation between Turkey and Taiwan.

In September, a memorandum of understanding was inked between the national libraries of both countries, he said.

He also said they countries are working on cooperation between their police forces.

When concluded, a mechanism will be established to pursue counter-terror activities closely, Baklaci stated.

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.

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.