Turkiye's foreign trade volume hit almost $500 billion in 2021 from less than $88 billion in 2002, says President Erdogan.

While the global goods trade decreased 10 percent in 2021, Turkiye  increased its exports by 33 percent, President Erdogan says.
While the global goods trade decreased 10 percent in 2021, Turkiye increased its exports by 33 percent, President Erdogan says. (AA)

Turkiye's share in the global trade exceeded one percent for the first time in 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, citing the newly announced export figures.

While the global goods trade decreased 10 percent in 2021, Turkiye achieved to increase its exports by 33 percent, Erdogan told reporters following a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara on Monday.

Compared to 2002, when Turkiye's annual exports were $36 billion, they increased by six times, he stressed, as Monday's figures showed that the country's exports reached $225.37 billion last year.

He also said that Turkiye's foreign trade volume hit almost $500 billion in 2021, while it could not reach $88 billion in 2002.

READ MORE: Turkey's exports hit historic $21.5B high in November

New tourism target 

Last year, the foreign trade deficit decreased to $46 billion, while the export-import coverage ratio reached 83 percent, which was 51 percent in the early 2000s.

In the tourism field, Turkiye hosted 29 million foreign visitors in 2021 and earned $24 billion, up by 83 percent and 100 percent, respectively, compared to 2020.

The country's new tourism target is to surpass the pre-pandemic level, Erdogan said.

In order to ease the burden of high gas and electricity bills on citizens, the president said, his government gave a subsidy of $9.5 billion on natural gas, $2.4 billion on electricity and $7.7 billion on automobile fuel.

He said: "During the pandemic, oil prices almost doubled, coal prices increased by three to five times, natural gas prices increased six to 10 times, metal and mineral prices increased by 50 percent and agricultural products prices increased by 25 percent.

"Due to the excessive rise in energy prices, many countries had to increase their electricity tariffs by an average of three times, while we followed a way to protect our citizens."

READ MORE: Turkey set to generate $22B from tourism in 2021

World's top 10 economies

"We provide $7,659 support to businesses that maintain the number of employees in the last 12 months and commit to employ our vocational high school or university graduates for at least 12 months," Erdogan said.

Touching on the country's foreign currency-protected Turkish lira deposit accounts, he said that citizens have so far deposited $5.97 billion to these accounts.

While the global trade volume shrank by 5.3 percent in 2020, Turkiye grew by 1.8 percent, Erdogan said, adding the growth of 7.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, 22 percent in the second quarter and 7.4 percent in the third quarter is the sign of double-digit growth in 2021.

"We are approaching step by step towards Turkiye's goal of becoming one of the world's top 10 economies with its performance," he added.

He said salaries of civil servants have increased by 30.5 percent in 2022 and the minimum pension amount increased to $191 from $114.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Turkiye's new economic policy will change financial landscape

Inflation

Touching on the inflation issue, he said the US saw the highest inflation figures in 40 years, Germany in 30 years and the UK in 10 years. "Like others, there is a reality of inflation in front of our country."

"We regret that our annual inflation hit 36 percent. We are determined to break the neck of the inflation, which we reduced to 6 percent in our country before, and we will reduce it back to single-digit as soon as possible," he underlined.

"We have taken special measures ... A 50 percent increase in the minimum wage is one such example," he added.

READ MORE: Erdogan vows to fight inflation, higher interest rates

Source: AA