Dependence on imports dents Turkish competitiveness

Official figures show imports totaling $125.2 billion for the first nine months of the year, including a number of very basic products, indicating Turkey has largely remained dependent on importing a variety of goods.
Though the figure marked a decrease in the $139.1 billion that was recorded between January and September 2014, this was largely due to a serious drop in global oil prices over the past year.
Turkey imported $34 billion in low and mid-range technological goods during the first three quarters of the year, though figures indicate that even very basic products were imported, including knitting needles and other similar products, for just under $1 million. A large of number of basic medical products was also imported to Turkey, including syringes, needles, tubes and other products, totaling $197.2 million, implying that the Turkish industrial sector is lagging behind on producing even basic goods. The country imported a total of $19.4 billion in aanced technological goods and $55 billion in mid to high-end technological goods during the first nine months of 2015.
Turkey, low in natural energy reserves of its own, is dependent on energy imports from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan to fulfil the vast majority of its energy demands.
Turkish exports suffered during the same period. Despite a major devaluation of the Turkish lira, exports fell 9.4 percent year-on-year during the first nine months of 2015, according to figures from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat). In September, exports dropped 14.2 percent to $11.66 billion, while the total export figure for the first three quarters of the year stood at $107.29 billion. Imports also decreased sharply, falling 25.2 percent in September and 13.1 percent between January and September.
Exports to the EU were 7.7 percent lower last month than in September 2014, totaling $5.51 billion. The countryand’s top export partners were Germany, the UK, Iraq and Italy. China, Germany, Russia and the US were the countries from which Turkey received the most imports in September. Disappointing export figures have been recorded for much of 2015 as regional trade has been compromised by political instability and multiple ongoing conflicts.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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