Muş announced the foreign trade figures for March at the press conference held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Commerce with Mustafa Gültepe, President of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM).
Pointing out that the share of the provinces affected by the earthquake in exports was 8.6 percent as of 2022, Muş said that the negative impact of the earthquake disaster on exports continued in March, with a decrease.
Noting that they evaluate that production activities and exports in the provinces affected by the earthquake will continue to recover in the coming period, Muş said, “Despite the negativities caused by the earthquake in production and supply, our exports increased by 4.4 percent in March to 23.6 billion dollars. This figure is the highest monthly export figure of all time. “I would like to emphasize that we achieved this success despite the fact that the euro-dollar parity reduced our exports by 340 million dollars. In March, our imports increased by 4.2 percent to 32.2 billion dollars. In March, total energy imports were at the level of 6 billion dollars.” he said.
“There is a great demand for motor land vehicles”
Noting that the import of unprocessed gold, which has a significant share in the increase in imports, increased by 63 percent compared to the previous year and reached 1.7 billion dollars, Muş said:
“I would like to point out that the increase in imports was 77.6% in motor land vehicles, 39.6% in electrical machinery and 30.8 percent in other machinery. The main reason for the increase in imports of motor vehicles is the easing of the chip crisis in the world. There is a great demand here. In the first quarter of 2023, our exports increased by 2.5 percent to 61.6 billion dollars, while our imports increased by 11.4 percent to 96.5 billion dollars.”
Pointing to the positive developments in global trade and economy, Muş said that the improvement in the global economy, especially the European Union and the Middle East, which is one of the important export markets, paints a positive picture in terms of foreign demand.
Drawing attention to the fact that inflation has started to decrease globally due to the recent decrease in energy prices, Muş said, “On the other hand, Turkey has played an important role in the positive change in global food prices, and the Black Sea Grain Corridor Agreement, which has been extended recently with the initiatives of our country, has changed the prices. “It has contributed significantly to the decline,” he said.
Stating that despite all these positive developments, it cannot be said that the uncertainty and problems in the global economy have completely disappeared, Muş said:
“Risks still continue. At this point, I would like to share a recent development here. The oil producing countries decided to cut production the other day, and as a result of this decision, a partial increase in oil prices occurred. This point indicates that uncertainty in energy prices will continue in the coming period. As you know, despite the recent partial decline in both the USA and the Euro Area, global inflation is still at high levels.As a result, monetary tightening policies continue and put pressure on growth.On the other hand, the USA The two banks that went bankrupt in Turkey and the serious decline in the shares of Credit Suisse in Europe indicate that there are significant risks in the banking sector.
Mehmet Muş stated that despite the negative impact of the Kahramanmaraş-centered earthquakes on the Turkish manufacturing sector, especially on the production lines and supply chains, the Turkish manufacturing PMI index continued to rise in March, exceeding the threshold value and realized as 50.9.
Drawing attention to the positive developments in real sector confidence index and employment, Muş stated that the positive trend in service exports continues. Noting that the annual service exports, which were 63.9 billion dollars in January 2022, increased to 91.8 billion dollars in January 2023 with a significant increase of 43.8 percent, Muş said, “In the light of all these developments, the effects of the earthquake are related to February and March. Considering that it is reflected in the data, we consider that the negative effects on our foreign trade will be more limited from now on.”
“It presents an important opportunity for Turkish exporters”
Muş stated that the expectations regarding the economic recovery and increase in demand in the Euro Zone present important opportunities for Turkish exporters.
Emphasizing that as the Ministry, they provide all kinds of support to increase product diversity and value-added exports, Muş stated that they continue to work in this context.
Trade Minister Muş noted that they are always with them in the process of companies becoming a world brand. Mentioning the steps they have taken in this direction, Muş made the following assessment:
“One of these steps is the Export Development Joint Stock Company (İGE AŞ), which was formed last year to address the problem of our exporters’ access to finance and whose capital structure was strengthened with the participation of the important banks of our country. İGE AŞ, which aims to carry our exports to a much further point with the guarantee mechanism it provides to companies with insufficient collateral, continues its activities. continues to support our exporters by increasing it. In this direction, İGE AŞ recently bought 98.5 percent of the shares of Turkish Commercial Bank. The acquisition of Turkish Commercial Bank will further facilitate our exporters’ access to finance. In the coming period, İGE AŞ will become a much more institutional and large structure. “
Muş also stated that they are working to increase bilateral trade with Middle Eastern countries, one of Turkey’s traditional markets.
In this context, Reminding that they discussed the economic and commercial relations between the two countries with the Iraqi Prime Minister in March, Muş said that they also met with the representatives of the business world and evaluated the steps to be taken to improve commercial relations.
Muş paid a visit to Saudi Arabia in March and stated that they held contacts to strengthen the commercial relations between the two countries and said, “We signed the Turkey-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement last month. He hopes that this agreement will be auspicious for our exporters and entrepreneurs. We hope it will open up new opportunities in the Middle East region.” said.
Minister Muş explained that the point the country’s economy and exports have reached in the last 20 years makes it necessary to go beyond traditional markets.
Emphasizing that exporters have to take their place among the most competitive actors in every continent and in every country, Muş stated that they care about companies benefiting from the supports offered within the scope of the Far Countries Strategy.
Noting that the investments made in many sectors show that the Turkish industry continues to develop rapidly, Muş concluded his words as follows:
“Thanks to the Bandırma Boron Carbide Production Facility, which was inaugurated by our President last month, which will increase the added value of the boron mine by 300 times, our country will become an important player in the production and export of the third hardest material in the world. Turkey’s car, Togg, which we will start seeing on the roads in the coming period, is an indication that we are taking firm steps forward in the construction of the ‘Turkish Century’.