Turkish economy climbs into world top 20
Turkey has gained a place among the 20 largest economies in the world with a Gross National Product (GNP) of almost $300 billion, according to a report just released by the Turkish Government.
Turkey’s ranking is set for a further boost next year following a projected 53% increase in trade exchanges with UAE, on which the country depends for much of its exports to the Middle East region.
“We calculate that the total trade between Turkey and the UAE will rise from $1.3 billion in 2004 to $2 billion in 2005, representing an increase of over 50% in just one year,” said Harun Kaçak, Turkey’s commercial attaché to the UAE.
“These figures are attributed to the higher demands in the region for Turkish construction, machinery, furniture and textile goods,” added Koçak.
Speaking at an official press conference for ‘Made in Turkey’, the government’s first trade fair in the UAE opening in Dubai on Saturday, Tuncer Kayalar, Turkey’s undersecretariat of foreign trade, explained how his country’s globalisation strategy has led to substantial economic growth:
“Turkey has implemented more liberal foreign trade policies and also diversified its exports seeing a shift from agricultural to industrial products over the last few years, “ he said. “Turkey is already an open economy, which has led to imports and exports combined represent more than 50 % of the GNP.”
Turkey’s economic growth rate has been one of the highest in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and this success has been possible in part due to the country’s ‘Neighbouring and Surrounding Countries’ policy, which puts a focus on increasing trade initially to closely located foreign countries.
Although the EU remains the largest market for Turkish exports with a 55% share in 2004, exports to these ‘neighbouring and surrounding’ countries, which include some Middle East nations, have increased by around 40% to over $20 billion, representing a 35% share overall.
Turkey is also working hard to re-position itself as a country which produces high quality goods at low costs and this will be a main aim of the ‘Made in Turkey’ exhibition, alongside fostering new and existing trade relations between Turkey and the Gulf region.
“Our target is to facilitate the building of new business contacts between Turkish companies and potential Arabic customers,” explained Kacok. “The show gives us an opportunity to educate businesses in the region about the high quality of Turkish goods and generate a positive perception of Turkey and Turkish export products.”
Taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 4-6 June, ‘Made in Turkey’ will see the largest recorded number of Turkish companies participate under one roof. Exhibitors will simultaneously show displays from the country’s construction, fashion and machinery industries all looking to strike up new business deals with companies in the region.
The expo is being arranged by Expotim, an international fair organisation company. Based in Istanbul, Expotim has been authorised and licensed by the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade of Turkish Prime Ministry to organise exhibitions abroad.