Turkey's mining industry aims to reach $5 billion in exports this year via digital marketing and other technical tools, according to Aydin Dincer, head of the Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association (IMIB).
The Turkish mining industry, with its strong, technologically based infrastructure, has the capacity to respond quickly on the production side to rising demand when the coronavirus pandemic is under control, Dincer told Anadolu Agency.
"We had a good start into 2020 with Turkey's 5% growth target, a promising new mining law, and some progress in the world economy, so our exports in January rose 8%.6 compared to the same period of the previous year, hitting $330 million," he added.
Dincer said the mining industry felt the impact of coronavirus in February along with Chinese markets' flirting with a shrinkage, as China is the Turkish mining industry’s biggest market, with a 31% export share.
"Our exports to China reached $1.34 billion in 2019, including $695 million in natural stones. The fall in natural stone exports to China in March was 68.29% compared to the same period of the previous year," he explained.
- 'We appreciate help keeping sector afloat’
Dincer said they have been working closely with Turkish ministries and institutions right from the start to cushion the impact of the drop in exports.
"The government announced in the March 25 Official Gazette that it prolonged the time for support payments for employers in the mining sector, and this is important for calculating costs for 2021," he said.
"We appreciate contributions keeping the sector afloat, because the mining industry supports the country's economy with $4.3 billion in exports and makes a huge contribution to the domestic market by providing raw materials," he added.
- Reaching 197 countries
Dincer said Turkey has 90% of the types of minerals produced worldwide, including 650 colors and patterns of marble and more than 150 natural stones, and that Turkey's export routes reach 197 countries.
"We believe that important steps will be taken in this field, boosting our exports of processed goods and establishing production centers for value-added products," he explained.
By Busranur Begcecanli