Turkey strives to be in top 20 export countries by 2023, eyes $500B goal
Textiles and apparel are two of Turkey's top exports. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Turkey will strive to be one of the top 20 export countries of the world by 2023, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.
Speaking at a Turkish Exporters' Assembly meeting in Istanbul, Davutoglu said exports would reach $500 billion by 2023.
"We have no doubt that confidence and stability will last in Turkey. We have succeeded a lot over the past 12 years and you, exporters, are both architects and witnesses of our achievements," Davutoglu said.
"The exporters have always been our first priority as they are Turkey's pioneers in the world economy," Davutoglu said reminding his audience that Turkey's exports had grown from $12 billion in 1991 to $158 billion by the end of 2015.
Davutoglu said that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party government had signed numerous free trade agreements in the last 12 years.
"When we came to power, Turkey had free trade agreements with 42 countries, but today that figure is higher than 75," he added.
"We want to increase global competitiveness of Turkish exporters through leadership in science, technology and innovation," noted the prime minister.
According to a report released by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly on May 1st, Turkish exports decreased by 9.8 percent in April compared to the same month in 2014.
Exports totaled $11.8 billion in April 2015 and were at $48.9 billion after the first four months of the year -- a decline of 8.1 percent, the assembly noted.
The country's total exports for the last 12 months stood at $153.5 billion, a 1.6 percent decrease compared to the previous 12 months.
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