Turkey to Increase Exports to $500 Billion

According to the Prime Minister, Turkey expects to increase its exports to $500 billion by 2023. A recent conference brought together Turkish trade counsellors from 85 different countries for discussions on how to boost Turkey’s exports.

The Turkish Assembly of Exporters has already put forward an ambitious plan to increase exports four times over to $500 billion in just 12 years, and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said that all counsellors needed to act as if they were representing a private company abroad.

The meeting lasted for a week and was the first of its kind to draw trade envoys from 85 countries as well as envoys from the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, and the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) in order to discuss methods of increasing trade volume.

Erdogan praised the trade counsellors for their efforts abroad which he said were helping Turkey to be seen as a soft power, which translates as a country with economic and diplomatic power rather than military power. He asked that his counsellors act like those in the Far East whom he said were always asking for appointments with his ministers.

Turkey currently has 187 counsellors abroad but plans to increase this number to 250 by 2012. State Minister Zafer Caglayan expects this number to eventually be more than 1000.

One of the countries with whom Turkey hopes to do more business is Russia. Visa requirements between the two countries have recently been eliminated which should improve economic relations. A recent survey of 24 leading exporters by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) showed that all placed Russia top of their list of target markets.

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