Despite rise in volume, Turkish exporters warn of strong lira, high interest rates

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s exports are showing signs of recovery after a dip despite the effects of a strong lira, Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen said yesterday. But exporters said the lira’s appreciation and what they called excessively high interest rates imperiled the government’s annual trade targets. Turkey has set an export target of $71 billion for this year, compared with $63.12 billion in 2004. «Despite the problems experienced, our exports have again begun to show a serious increase. We will see especially big increases in the textile and ready-made clothes sector in the final quarter of 2005,» Tuzmen told a gathering of exporters. He said exports had jumped 23.5 percent year on year in the period Sept. 1-24. Officials said exports for that period were worth a total $5.357 billion against $4.339 billion last year. Data from the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) show exports rose 16.65 percent year on year in August to $5.533 billion. The officials said Turkish exports in the period from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24 totaled $51.923 billion, up from $44.158 billion the previous year. Tuzmen said total trade turnover in 2005 would reach some $180 billion and that the trade deficit would amount to around 20 to 22 percent of that figure.

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