Turk exports may well exceed 2004 IMF target

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish exports may reach $60 billion in 2004, well above an official target of $51.53 billion under a $19 billion accord with the International Monetary Fund, the foreign trade minister said yesterday. Exports are seen as the engine behind Turkey’s economic recovery from a severe recession in 2001, when the economy shrank by about 10 percent. «With this rising trend, I believe we can comfortably beat $58 billion and reach $60 billion,» Kursad Tuzmen, foreign trade minister, told a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM). Foreign Trade Under-Secretary Tuncer Kayalar said last month exports could comfortably reach $56 billion this year. According to unofficial TIM data, Turkish exports climbed 35.5 percent in the first half of the year to $29.368 billion. Separately, TIM Chairman Oguz Satici urged the government not to give up incentives for manufacturing industry and investment in a follow-up deal with the IMF when the existing loan accord expires in February 2005.