World trade has contracted by %3,2 in 2016, but has been steadily increasing since last November. World trade has witnessed a 8,8% increase in the first 5 months of 2017.
The recovery in global trade effects our exports also, having a leverage effect. Our national exports have increased by 8.2 percent in the first 6 months to reach 77.5 billion dollars. In this case, we reached the half of $ 155 billion target, which we set with our Ministry of Economy for 2017.
Moreover, our exports have also increased by 12,6% in the first half of 2017 in terms of quantity. However, although our exports increased both in terms of value and quantity for that period, our export unit prices are not yet at the right place. At this point, we should focus on producing high-value-added products and give importance to branding. In other words, R&D, innovation, branding and design should have high level importance for us. Similarly, our exporters should closely follow current technologies and tendencies to catch global trends easily. Only by this way, we could reach our targets.
Beside all these, the perception generated for Turkish export products directly effects our exports, too. At this point, I would like to share with you our esteemed readers that we have successfully completed our Turkish Export Products Perception Researches, which we started in October 2016. With our research, we wanted to measure the current level of perception and level of Turkish export products in our foreign buyers. Besides, we want to produce a field study that will guide our firms for exporting in medium and long term. We performed three different field measurements in this study, which we conducted with face-to-face interviews with managers responsible for purchasing a total of 2520 firms in twenty-six countries where we exported the most in the six main sector groups.
Those are “Turkish Export Products Perceptions”, “Turkish General Perceptions” and “Turkey: Discover the Potential Campaign Awareness and Activity Perception” conducted by our Assembly. These three areas were met with strategic findings in our research.
While 62 percent of the respondents said that they were especially satisfied with Turkish export products, the highest rate of satisfaction was in England with 85 percent, France with 77 percent and India with 74 percent. When we look at the rate of satisfaction of Turkish Export Products of our sectors, this ratio is quite close and high to all of our sectors, and the highest sector is Electric and Machine by %65.
On the other hand, we see that our image is high in Spain, Germany and India when we look at the country breakdown of our image while the proportion of those who find Turkey's image positive is 60 percent. For the EU as a whole, this figure is above the general average which is 60 percent with 65 percent. The two sector groups with the highest overall image in terms of sectors were Chemicals and Textiles, Carpets, Leather with 63 percent.
In the last section, we examined the level of reflection of the Turkish brand's awareness, appreciation level, and thoughts on Turkey in campaign of Turkey: Discover the Potential. In general, Turkey's brand awareness rate was 41%, the highest of these countries are Italy, Egypt and Russia.
As a result of our research which we try to explain the outline, we see that the established perceptions about the Turkish export products, brand and image in foreign countries are positive.
This study was the first step of an annual chain of researches about Turkish perception globally. We will conduct the second step of the same research next year. Thus, we will have the chance to compare the next year's results with this year's. This will give us a detailed information about how our works have affected the perception for our country and for our export products, and let us know what to do the next. We will, therefore, take firmer steps to our export targets forward.