TİM: Turkish exporters to add 55,000 jobs in year's last quarter
Bullish export growth over the next three months will see "55,000 jobs added" in export-oriented firms, Turkish Exporters Union (TİM) head Mehmet Büyükekşi predicted in an Tuesday speech at a TİM conference.

"In the next three months will we be adding new people?" Büyükekşi asked the crowd of exporters during the İstanbul conference. Büyükekşi, likely feeling the optimism afforded by an upbeat government report on September manufacturing, predicted that Turkish exporters would add "an average of five workers" to their firms by the year's end and cited a "55,000 person increase" in countrywide employment among TİM members in the coming months.

Büyükekşi nevertheless painted a sober picture of profits for exporters in an ever-harsher world market, where the TİM head said that profits for "about half" of the group's exporters had declined over the past year. Büyükekşi's pronouncements over the Turkish export climate came after the group conducted a TİM-wide poll of investment attitudes and profits over the last three business quarters.

The squeeze in profits came as exporters expanded their businesses, gaining market footholds in countries outside of Europe. "Forty-three percent of export firms have seen growth over the past year," Büyükekşi said, contrasting those numbers with the contraction in production which Turkish manufacturers and exporters saw in the first quarter of 2012.

Büyükekşi also predicted that an overall positive climate for exports would continue as "conditions seen in the third quarter would continue throughout the fourth" and into the beginning of the first quarter of 2013.

One major reason for growth amid a period of European instability has been successful integration into markets in developing countries. Russian demand exceeded expectations for the third quarter of 2012, registering in a TİM poll as the country's biggest export market. The country, which is seeing its own period of rapid expansion, was originally expected to be the third largest export market during the third quarter.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) meanwhile emerged as another key market for Turkey over the past three business quarters, with the exporter's poll registering the country as the second largest export market. Büyükekşi added that Turkey's fastest growing market has been Africa, where consumer demand has exploded despite gloom in Europe.

Büyükekşi's comments come following a report on strong September manufacturing data that was released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) in the first week of November. The data show 15.6 percent growth over worrying manufacturing figures released in August, when industrial production suffered its first decline after 32 months of consecutive growth, dropping by 1.5 percent. The numbers were also a 6.2 percent improvement over manufacturing numbers in September of last year. The TurkStat report predicted "sustained growth" for Turkish manufactured exports, citing a weak lira and diversified markets, which the report said was helping exporters weather a Europe-wide recession.

Despite the August dip in production, Turkish sales of exported goods in the first three quarters of 2012 grew by 12 percent over the same period last year, totaling a record $124.8 billion. Strong export growth, Büyükekşi said, would continue as demand grew for products ranging from foodstuffs, medical supplies, construction materials and manufactured goods, especially automobiles.

Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan predicted early this month that the growth would continue into the end of the year and suggested that industrial production would register "double-digit growth" in the November manufacturing report, which will be released in early December, for the first time in 13 months.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-27 20:00:01
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