Turkeyâ€™s exports increased from $36.1 billion in 2002 to nearly $158 billion in 2014 and a record high in annual exports revenue after "political and financial stabilityâ€ was achieved in the country, according the Turkish Exportersâ€™ Assembly.
The textile sector's annual exports were up 8 percent, accounting for $18.7 billion. The chemicals sector came in third after its exports grew by only 2.3 percent to $17.8 billion. However, the driving force of exports was the automotive sector, jewelry sector and the Turkish defense and aviation sectors.
Figures show that neighboring Iraq remained Turkeyâ€™s second largest export destination, following Germany, despite exports to Iraq dropping by 10.1 percent to $10.6 billion in 2014. Exports to Germany increased by 11.3 percent to $14.8 billion and exports to the UK were up 12.6, standing at $9.6 billion.
Exports to the Middle East were also up by 6.2 percent to $29.5 billion, with a 61 percent increase in exports to Syria. While, exports to EU countries increased by 9.2 percent to $67.6 billion.
Turkeyâ€™s first-quarter GDP growth was 4.8 percent, but it slowed in the second quarter to 2.2 percent and dropped to 1.7 percent in the third quarter after the ISIL-provoked geopolitical crisis in Iraq and Syria affected Turkish economy.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, president of the Turkish Exportersâ€™ Assembly, said that 2015's circumstances can be more challenging, as the U.S. Fed is expected to hike interest rates.
Higher U.S. interest rates could spur an outflow of capital from emerging markets, including Turkey, where private sector foreign debt is now at $165.2 billion.
The Federal Reserve had said it would keep interest rates near zero â€œfor a considerable time,â€ but signaled on December 17, 2014 that it would raise rates some time next year.
Buyukeksi added that they need to use opportunities in exports and also create new opportunities cautiously but optimistically.
Exports to markets with which trade was minimal in the past also showed stronger figures, as sales to Rwanda surged 295 percent and exports to Suriname increased by 158 percent.
The Turkish government has set exports target of $500 billion by 2023.
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