Turkey's foreign trade deficit fell by 4.7% year on year in January to $7 billion, according to the Turkish statistics bureau. The figures were welcome news especially as exports increased by 8.6% year on year to reach $10.4 billion, whereas imports rose by a mere 2.8% to reach $17.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $7 billion.
Although the figures were better than January last year, it was predicted the deficit would be just $6.4 billion. The gap between imports and exports is a threat for Turkey's current-account deficit. Thankfully the recent monetary and fiscal measures seem to be proving successful, as the current-account deficit has stopped increasing and is gradually trending downwards.
The foreign trade deficit is also an issue for Turkey whose economy has been one of the fastest growing in the world during the last couple of years.
One of the problems facing Turkey is its dependence on foreign energy supplies, as its expanding economy requires more and more energy. Although Turkey is trying to rectify this problem by investing heavily in renewable energy sources, it will be quite some time before such projects are able to make a dent in its considerable annual energy bill.
Turkey currently spends around $50 billion on oil imports every year, and its annual energy demands are estimated to increase by 8% every year. It's thought that by 2020 the country will need around 450 billion kW hours. The potential for renewable energy in Turkey is huge, especially for hydroelectric, geothermal and nuclear energy, with many of the options still yet to be fully explored.