Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) President Mehmet Büyükekşi has stated that Turkish exporters are creating their own platform for growth, and this year’s exports will be the highest in the history of the republic based on this solid platform.
“This platform will enable not only record-high exports in 2011 but also export targets set for 2023. Growth in new markets and the increased value-added on the one hand and the exported agricultural products of purely domestic production on the other are forming this solid platform,” he said.
Büyükekşi told Sunday’s Zaman that the share of agricultural products in total exports has increased to 12 percent and that the value-added increase, demanded for exported products, could be achieved hassle-free for agricultural products. Stressing that the increase in agricultural products that do not have imported inputs is pleasing, the TİM president pointed out that this will give Turkey an edge over its rivals in halal food markets.
The market contraction in Europe, Büyükekşi stated, does not affect Turkish exporters adversely as geographical proximity is making contraction an advantage. “European markets have not contracted, but expanded for Turkey. Our exports to Europe are increasing. For some time in the past, European markets were invaded by cheap Chinese and Asian products. However, things in Europe are worse than in the past. Therefore, European buyers are unable to place large-scale orders. Instead, they are given small orders but more frequently. And Turkey is the closest country to Europe. Therefore, they prefer Turkey instead of China or Asia because Turkey has advantages both in terms of product range, price, quality and logistics. The time it takes to deliver an order from China and from Turkey differs greatly. Turkey is closer and more attractive to Europe due to its geographical position. This makes us advantageous. Small, but continued orders play into the hands of small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] in Turkey,” he said.
Turkish businesses have set their sights on all big markets in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, the Far East, Africa and Europe, and they intend to boost their shares in existing markets and to enter new markets via fairs and exhibitions showcasing Turkish products. Exporters are now steering away from the world’s largest markets and moving towards India and China in Asia; Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam in the Far East; Ghana, Angola, Algeria and Nigeria in Africa; and Brazil, Argentina and Mexico in South America.
Büyükekşi called on businesses and corporations to attend fairs and exhibitions organized by trade associations and organizations, particularly including TİM, as fairs help exporters expand their horizons.
The İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) has been introducing Turkish firms to new markets via the Turkish Products Exhibition, which it has been organizing for 12 years. This year, it will organize two gigantic fairs in India, one of the world’s largest markets, and Algeria, which represents a door to the African markets. In addition to these fairs, the İTO and a large number of Turkish firms will also attend as guests of honor the Mideast Supplier Industry Fair in Paris on Nov. 15-18, the SIAL Middle Eastern Food Exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 12-23 and the Europe Halal Market Fair in Brussels on Nov. 26-28.
TİM President Büyükekşi explained that they support all fairs and exhibitions which help exporters expand their horizons, and the Turkish Products Exhibition, which will be held in November in India, will serve as meeting point for Turkish and Indian businessmen. Noting that India is the second-largest economic power in Asia after China, he said: “As Egypt and Algeria are doors that open to Africa, India is like a gate to Asia and countries in the Pacific. If Turkish exporters can enter Indian markets, they will have a chance to address approximately 4 billion people. India has recovered from the global crisis with minimal damage. It is continually growing and its purchasing power is among the world’s largest economies. Cooperation our businessmen establish will serve the interests of both countries.”
23 October 2011, Sunday / ALI ASLAN KILIÇ, ANKARA