After experiencing an economic boom during 2002-2007, Turkey’s economy took a beating in 2008, following the global financial meltdown. One of the major issues that the country is facing is the declining exports to European countries. Turkey’s trade, exports and imports were hit badly in the year 2008, when the trade deficit stood at -31%.
Turkey has diversified its economy in the 2000s, following an active participation in exports to Europe and other Asian countries. The Turkish industry of late has started looking beyond the Middle East, but still lags behind its European counterparts. The industrial share of the Gross National Product (GNP) stood at 30% as of 2Q2009.
Turkey’s major export products include clothes, electronics, automobiles and agricultural products. Other major products exported from Turkey include iron and steel, mineral fuels and oil, precious stones and tobacco. On the other hand, the major import commodities for Turkey include electrical equipment, mechanical appliances, optical instruments, iron and steel, and pharmaceutical products. Turkey’s major import partners are the USA, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and the UK.
Oil exports from Turkey in 2008 stood at 141,700 b/d, with oil imports at 783,800 b/d in the same period. The total exports amounted to $111 billion in 2009, which fell from its 2008 estimates of $140.7 billion. The total imports amounted to $134.2 billion, according to the 2009 estimates, which again fell from the 2008 estimates of $193.9 billion.
Turkey Trade, Exports and Imports: Alternatives
Turkey has started to explore alternative markets to counter the effects of the financial crisis. Exports to countries in Africa and Central Asia have increased tremendously. Trade with the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) has jumped by more than 50% in 2008. FDI from the Middle East countries increased to almost $2 billion in 2008. Exports to Iraq increased by 75% in 1Q2009, and trade relations with Africa are expected to strengthen in 2010.