Twenty eleven was a record year for Turkish exports, despite things like the Arab Spring and Eurozone debt crisis, which many thought could hit demand. In fact, the eurozone crisis had “nearly no effect,” while the Arab Spring’s effect was “extremely limited.” This is according to a new report from economists at the Bahçeşehir University Center for Economic and Social Research (Betam).
Unsurprisingly exports to Libya and Syria fell considerably last year, as in both the Arab Spring turned into violent conflict between population and government. Although Egypt also had its share of violence, it enjoyed a rising share in Turkey’s export market, according to the report.
In 2011 Turkey exported $62.4 billion worth of goods to EU countries, which is a 19% growth compared to 2010 and left the EU unchanged in its market-share of 46.2% of all Turkish exports. This is down from 56% in 2006. During the same period exports to the near and middle east region grew from a 14% share of the total to 20.7%.
In fact, the Arab Spring hit exports to North Africa harder than those to the Middle East. North African countries were responsible for 5% of Turkish exports in 2011, compared to 6.2% in 2010. Meanwhile Turkish exports to Iraq grew 37.8% to $8.3 billion, and exports to Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Azerbajan, Georgia and Isreal also increased.
And harder than the EU crisis hit Turkish exports, with exports to the EU27 growing from $52.7 billion in 2010 to $62.4 billion in 2011. Exports to Germany grew by 21.6% to $14 billion during the same period and exports to Italy, France, Britain and the Netherlands also increased. In fact, only Portugal and Slovakia imported less from Turkey last year than in 2010.