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Foreign Trade 

In 2014, Turkey’s exports reached an all-time high; hitting approximately USD 157.6 billion, with an increase of 4 percent.

 

Foreign Trade Statistics

 

USD million

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Exports (FOB)

132,027

102,143

113,883

134,907

152,462

151,803

157,628

Imports (CIF)

201,964

140,928

185,544

240,842

236,545

251,661

242,183

Trade Volume

333,991

243,071

299,427

375,749

389,007

403,464

399,810

Trade Balance

-69,936

-38,786

-71,661

-105,935

-84,083

-99,859

-84,555

 

Source: TurkStat

 

Due to the implementation of the liberalization process since the 1980s, the Turkish economy has experienced a period of substantial growth. Foreign trade, in respect of both exports and imports, has grown rapidly and notable changes in the structure of exports have been observed. In this regard, industrial products have gained prominence over agricultural products.

 

Turkey became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Following this move, it finalized an agreement with the European Union, enabling it to join the Customs Union on January 1, 1996.

 

Exports

 

In line with the policies implemented as part of the export-led development model followed since 1980, exportation has become important to Turkey in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

 

Starting in particular in 1980 and continuing up to the mid-1990s, significant developments have been observed in the market share held by labor-intensive industrial products such as textiles and clothing, iron and steel, and foodstuffs.

 

In 1996, following the establishment of a Customs Union with the European Union, Turkey's exports entered a new structural transformation process. Developments in recent years show that production and exportation have increased substantially in high-technology sectors, where goods include electrical and electronic machinery and equipment, as well as in the automotive industry. In this respect, it can also be observed that the export market share of manufactured industrial products has increased.

 

Top 10 Export Product Groups in 2014

 

 

Product Groups

USD billion

Share in total exports (%)

1

Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling-stock, parts thereof

18

11.5

2

Boilers, machineries and mechanical appliances, parts thereof

14

8.6

3

Knitted and crocheted goods and articles thereof

10

6.4

4

Electrical machinery and equipment, parts thereof

10

6.1

5

Iron and steel

9

5.9

6

Precious stones, precious metals, pearls and articles thereof

8

4.9

7

Articles of iron and steel

6

4.0

8

Non knitted and crocheted goods and articles thereof

6

4.0

9

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation

6

3.9

10

Plastic and articles thereof

6

3.9

 

Source: TurkStat

 

Major Export Markets in 2014

 

Markets

USD million

Share (%)

A-EU 28

68,524

43.5

B-Free Zones in Turkey

2,270

1.4

C-Other countries

86,834

55.1

1- Other European countries

15,186

9.6

2- North African countries

9,757

6.2

3- Other African countries

3,997

2.5

4- North American countries

7,293

4.6

5- Central American countries and Caribbean

938

0.6

6- South America countries

1,852

1.2

7- Near and Middle Eastern countries

35,388

22.5

8- Other Asian countries

11,593

7.4

9- Australia and New Zealand

600

0.4

10- Other countries

231

0.1

 

Source: TurkStat

 

Imports

 

The Turkish import regime highlights the liberalization of Turkish imports in line with its commitment to complete the Customs Union with the EU, its relationship with EFTA, and its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO). Turkey has placed special emphasis on its commitment to reduce customs duties in order to align itself with the Common Customs Tariff. Turkey has made some necessary modifications to its import regime, and by January 1, 1996 the Customs Union with the EU became effective.

 

The basic aims of Turkey’s import policy since the early 1980s can be summarized as follows:

 

  • To reduce protectionist measures in conformity with the new GATT rules
  • To reduce bureaucratic procedures
  • To secure a supply of raw materials and intermediary goods at suitable prices with certain quality standards

 

Turkey's Membership of International Trade Organizations

 

Turkey has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995. The country’s commitment to integrating regional and international trade norms can be seen in its participation in and membership of various organizations, including the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), D-8, and various other organizations.

 

In addition to the Customs Union with the EU, Turkey has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (pending), Egypt, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Jordan, Mauritius, South Korea, Lebanon*, Malaysia*, Kosovo*, Moldova*and Ghana*. (*to be ratified).