Turkish economy grows 6,7% in third quarter

The government is preparing investments to transform the country's industry into a kind of hub for supplying the European Union. It is not good news for some Portuguese sectors of activity.

Driven by various fiscal stimuli and the end of some blocks related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkey's GDP grew 6,7% in the third quarter, after contracting 9,9% in the previous three months, according to data from the Turkish Institute of Statistics (TurkStat) released this Monday.

The country outperformed all G-20 nations, including China, whose economy recovered 4,9% in the quarter from July to September. "Turkey has a remarkable real growth in GDP of 6,7% in the third quarter, against expectations of 4,8% and can achieve zero growth in the whole year - which would be incredible in a pandemic year," said a cited analyst by the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabath.

The Ankara government forecasts growth of 0,3% this year, but admits a contraction of 1,5% in the worst scenario of the health crisis, and projects a recovery of 5,8% in 2021.

Financial sector activity grew 41,1% in the third quarter, industry 8%, civil construction 6,4% and agriculture 6,2%. Exports fell 22% year-on-year, after falling 36% in the previous three months. Imports increased by 16% after falling by 8%.

Meanwhile, Turkey has the potential to use opportunities arising from changes in global supply chains resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and the government is preparing to bet on this particular feature of its economy, which will increase pressure on Portuguese textile production .

"We believe that we can become a key global player in value chains and use new investment and trade opportunities," said Commerce Minister Ruhsar Pekcan this week during the parliamentary debate on the 2021 budget.

The Turkish government considers that the country, with its qualified workforce, strategic location and strong infrastructure, is a candidate to become a strong supplier, especially for Europe and the Middle East.

The global economy is facing the sharpest contraction since the Second World War, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) anticipating a 9,2% drop in global trade, but Turkish industry has shown strong resistance in the face of the disruption suffered by the pandemic. "Turkey is among the countries that will overcome the crisis with less damage and experience a faster recovery," said Pekcan.

Turkish exports have already recovered in the third quarter of the year, after the contractions of March, April and May, thanks to the normalization process - which, as usual, has also undergone a sharp change in exchange rates (a mechanism that European countries do not have at their disposal). "Exports increased by 33,9% in the third quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter," said the minister. In 2019, Turkey reached a share in world trade of 0,96% and Pekcan said that value rose to 1% in the period from January to August 2020.

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