Turkish Economy Soldiers on on Diversified Export Markets

Posted on 08 September 2012

Analysts predict that Turkey will have avoided the slowdown seen by most western European economies in the second quarter, as firms diversified their exports away from Europe into Africa and the Middle East to generate, which also helped to bring about a 12%+ growth in exports for the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2011.

In fact, experts are predicting an increase in growth. According to a Reuters poll of commercial bank economists, figures due to be released on Monday will show Turkish GDP up 3.25% year on year in Q2, up from 3.2% in the first quarter.

Analysts continue to be impressed with Turkish policymakers as they engineer a soft-landing from the runaway growth experienced in the last couple of years. Even as they navigate this, the country’s prospects still look brighter than most economies in Europe.

“In euro zone countries, governments have implemented strict fiscal measures. Their financial system is deleveraging and households need to improve their balance sheets,” said Emre Tekmen, economist at bank TEB in Istanbul.

“Turkey doesn’t have any of these problems. On the export front, the market diversification of Turkish exporters also is a positive factor for Turkey.”

According to the latest data Turkish exports were 12.6% higher in the first seven months of this year than the same period last year. This is despite the troubles in Turkey’s main trading partner. Not that those troubles wouldn’t have cause a slowdown in Turkish exports, but for the fact that its exports to other markets increased. The data shows that while the share of Turkish exports going to the EU fell from 48% to 39%, the share of countries in Africa, as well as the Near and Middle East countries rose from 27% in 2011 to 37% in the first seven months of this year.

“If there wasn’t any market diversification, Turkish exports would be at least 10% lower than their current level. This has increased the impact of exports on growth,” said Adnan Dalgakiran, board member of the Turkish Exporters Assembly.

“I expect Turkey to gradually increase exports to African and Middle Eastern countries as well to its neighbouring countries,” he said.

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