Erdogan: "Turkey is set to beat its $132 bln pre-crisis export level"
Turkey is set to exceed its pre-global economic crisis export level of $132 billion by year's-end, predicted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. Speaking at the First Trade Counselors Conference in Ankara, Erdogan said after peaking at $132 billion in 2008, this year Turkey's exports are finally set to recover and even do better. On the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) foreign trade policy, Erdogan said that since 2007 the government has boosted the number of its trade counselors from 109 to 187. "This year we'll increase their number again, to 205," he said, adding that those counselors are working in 89 countries around the world. He touted his government's success in boosting Turkey's exports in its eight-plus years in office since late 2002, saying that Turkish trade counselors should stay busy like their Far Eastern colleagues working in Turkey. "They don't sit in their offices and stay idle," he said. "They work like bees. They're always seeking to meet with me and my colleagues. And we want the same from you. You should leave no place unvisited." Speaking at the same conference, State Minister responsible for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan said a proper trade ministry will be set up before the June 12 elections.