16 July 2019 Tuesday

Turkey, despite the challenging economic conditions in 2018, increased exports by 7.1%

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Turkey Contractors Association (TMB) issued an analysis titled "Is the world reshaping while entering 2019?" In the analysis, it is addressed that Turkish companies have undertaken project contracts worth 19,9 billion US Dollars abroad in 2018 and that the total amount of 9,600 projects undertaken in 123 countries until today has reached 380 billion US Dollars. In the report stating that the top 3 countries where most projects have been undertaken in 2018 were Russia (20%), Saudi Arabia (15.5%) and Qatar (10.5%), it is added that "After the normalization of relationships, Russia became the market leader again on foreign construction services list. Within a short time, it is predicted that we reach an average 5-6 billion US Dollars/year of potential project amount in Russia, which was the rate between 2012 - 2015." In summary, the report states: "It is predicted that the size of the international construction market will reach 700 billion US Dollars in 2030s. It is aimed to increase the share that Turkish companies have in the international market to 7% (50 billion USD) in the 2030s. Russian Federation and Iraq will also maintain their importance for the industry in 2019. Recently, our contractors have been following the markets with potential, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, India, ASEAN Region and Latin America, for new opportunities. In Africa, which is the center of attention for many countries, there are various project opportunities, and the favorable look in the regional countries towards our companies provides an advantage for Turkish construction companies."

On the other hand, Turkey-Libya relations also revive in terms of the construction industry, which were interrupted due to "Arab Spring" and hot developments experienced. TMB Chairman of the Executive Board, Mithat Yenigün, stated that total amount of unfinished projects of Turkish companies in Libya was 19 billion USD and added "With the Memorandum of Understanding signed between our Ministry of Commerce and Libya's Ministry of Planning, it is very important that a road map was put into effect within 3 months for the solution of problems that our contractors have been experiencing in Libya. We believe that these actions will be an important step towards solving our problems that have been suspended for a long time."

According to the data released by the Republic of Turkey's Ministry of Commerce, our export rates have increased to 13 billion 902 million dollars in December 2018 by increasing 0,4% compared to the same month of the previous year. Our imports decreased by 28.2% to 16 billion 577 million dollars. In 2018, our export rates increased by 7.1% to 168,1 billion dollars compared to the previous year, and our export rates broke the record in our Republic history by going above 157,6 billion dollars, which was our previous record, by 10,5 billion dollars. While our import rates decreased by 4,6% to 223.1 billion dollars in 2018, our foreign trade volume was 391,2 billion dollars. In 2018, the import coverage ratio of our exports has increased to 75,3% with an increase of 8,2 points compared to the previous year. In December, the top countries that Turkey exported goods were respectively Germany, England and Italy; and the top three in terms of import were Russia, Germany and China. While there was an increase by 7% to 16 billion 170 million dollars in our amount of exports to Germany in 2018, our exports to England increased 15,8% to 11 billion 117 million dollars in the same period and exceeded the 10 billion dollars threshold. In 2018, our exporters' number of markets reached 242. While our exports to European Union countries have increased to 6 billion 574 million dollars by 0,8% in 2018 compared to the same month of the previous year, our exports to European Union countries in 2018 have reached 84,1 billion dollars with an increase by 13,7%. While our exports to Africa countries in December have increased by 22,5%, the exports to Africa for the whole year have increased by 23,9%.

In terms of the air conditioning industry, we see that Turkey market maintains its importance for Europe. In Turkey, there is a demand for mostly the well-known brands and the significant amount of devices sold are inverter air conditioners. All room-type devices and 50% of modular devices are inverter air conditioners. There are heat pump types in both groups. 14 kW floor-type modular air conditioners excluded from restrictions in ErP directive are popular in our country's market. Air conditioners produced in Turkey find buyers especially in European, Middle Eastern and CIS countries. While Europe is advancing towards R32, the importance of Turkey as a production base for room-type air conditioners with R32 cooler liquid gas, which are sold to Europe. R32 market penetration rate in Turkey's domestic market has reached to approximately 10%. Turkey maintains its attractiveness in terms of being a production base for exports to Europe. Therefore, Turkey's air-conditioning market looks at 2019 with hope.

Gökcen Parlar Unal
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