Turkiye's share in global trade exceeds 1% for 1st time: President

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkiye targets to surpass pre-pandemic tourism figures in coming years

Gokhan Ergocun   | 03.01.2022
Turkiye's share in global trade exceeds 1% for 1st time: President Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech after Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Turkey on January 03, 2022. ( Dogukan Keskinkilic - Anadolu Agency )


Turkiye’s share in the global trade exceeded 1% for the first time last year, the nation’s president said on Monday, citing the newly announced 2021 export figures.

While the global goods trade decreased 10% in 2021, Turkiye achieved to increase its exports by 33%, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters following a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

Compared to 2002, when Turkiye’s annual exports were $36 billion, they increased by six times, he stressed, as Monday’s figures showed that the country’s exports reached $225.37 billion last year.

He also said that Turkiye’s foreign trade volume hit almost $500 billion in 2021, while it could not reach $88 billion in 2002.

Last year, the foreign trade deficit decreased to $46 billion, while the export-import coverage ratio reached 83%, which was 51% in the early 2000s.

In tourism field, Turkiye hosted 29 million foreign visitors in 2021 and earned $24 billion, up by 83% and 100%, respectively, compared to 2020.

The country’s new tourism target is to surpass the pre-pandemic level, Erdogan said.

In order to ease the burden of high gas and electricity bills on citizens, the president said, his government gave a subsidy of 80 billion liras ($9.5 billion) on natural gas, 20 billion liras ($2.4 billion) on electricity and 65 billion liras ($7.7 billion) on automobile fuel.

He said: "During the pandemic, oil prices almost doubled, coal prices increased by three to five times, natural gas prices increased six to 10 times, metal and mineral prices increased by 50% and agricultural products prices increased by 25%.

"Due to the excessive rise in energy prices, many countries had to increase their electricity tariffs by an average of three times, while we followed a way to protect our citizens."

Goal of becoming one of world's top 10 economies

"We provide 100,000 liras ($7,659) support to businesses that maintain the number of employees in the last 12 months and commit to employ our vocational high school or university graduates for at least 12 months," Erdogan said.

Touching on the country's foreign currency-protected Turkish lira deposit accounts, he said that citizens have so far deposited 78 billion Turkish liras ($5.97 billion) to these accounts.

While the global trade volume shrank by 5.3% in 2020, Turkiye grew by 1.8%, Erdogan said, adding the growth of 7.4% in the first quarter of 2021, 22% in the second quarter and 7.4% in the third quarter is the sign of double-digit growth in 2021.

"We are approaching step by step towards Turkiye's goal of becoming one of the world's top 10 economies with its performance," he added.

He said salaries of civil servants have increased by 30.5% in 2022 and the minimum pension amount increased to 2,500 Turkish liras ($191) from 1,500 Turkish liras ($114).

Touching on the inflation issue, he said the US saw the highest inflation figures in 40 years, Germany in 30 years and the UK in 10 years. “Like others, there is a reality of inflation in front of our country."

"We regret that our annual inflation hit 36%. We are determined to break the neck of the inflation, which we reduced to 6% in our country before, and we will reduce it back to single digit as soon as possible," he underlined.

“We have taken special measures ... A 50% increase in the minimum wage is one such example,” he added.

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