We have to focus on innovative products to increase the quality and the unit value of our exports. Therefore we need to apply a more dynamic production function and enhance our capacity. As TİM we gathered this factors around “5S” principles. Strong Turkey will evolve from strong economy, strong exports, strong human resources and strong infrastructure for exports.
Our main claim is to achieve a Turkey which has a trade surplus in the future. While setting up this target, we dedicated on the deficiencies in our production and export strategies to shape them in a better structure. As Turkey we don't have oil or gas fields that can boost our exports, we have to produce new products, create innovative strategies and promote them to go further.
Regarding to the speculative attacks on Turkish Lira last August and the rising protectionism in trade among the world, we have reached the all-time high export figures with 168.1 billion US dollars at the end of 2018. Moreover the ratio of exports to imports has reached 75 percent with an 8.2 points increase comparing to 2017.
However, there is one reality that we need accept. Our unit values in exports have been decreasing since 2014 while quantity based exports have been increasing at the same period. Thus, it means that we are selling more products with a lower price since then. We need to add value to our products to increase our profits. We have to focus on innovative products to increase the quality and the unit value of our exports. Therefore we need to apply a more dynamic production function and enhance our capacity. Moreover it's as important as to increase our market share in our major markets like Europe, as entering new markets around the world like Far East, Latin America or Africa. These will be our main strategies in the upcoming year.
It's obvious that there is a tough path in front of us. As TİM we are working closely with the Ministry of Trade and the other important actors in our economy. We confidently claim that we will continue to break records in exports. For the next year we've declared our target as $182 billion at the end of 2019 as it was pointed out in the New Economy Program.
Our vision is also built on sustaining the success in 2018 and innovate new strategies in our exports. Therefore we declared that 2019 will be the year of “Sustainability and Innovation for Exports”. Reflecting our 2019 vision, we have prepared a report and released on 22nd of January. “Export 2019 Report” reveals the products that we are holding advantage among the world. Methodology of the report is based on the “Revealed Comparative Advantage” model and as a starter; we investigated the top 200 products imported last year. Among the top 200, Turkey carries the comparative advantage in 47 products. Moreover, our study group listed the top 15 countries who import this 47 products and also revealed our potential markets for this products. As a conclusion of the report, we still have a long way to discover for the major markets as USA, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
We will continue to release “Export Reports” and expand our area of research in this year. Therefore we will keep our exporters updated for the upcoming risks, political, diplomatic and economic agenda of the world and indicate the possible opportunities.
With this report, we also paved a path towards our goals. Our new vision gathered around five principles. These principles are Strong Turkey, Strong Economy, Strong Exports, Strong Human Resources and Strong Infrastructure for Exports. Walking confidently towards our goals, we will continue to prepare these kind of reports to carry out our vision.
Last but not the least, we are also paying much attention on recording export figures of transit trade, exports of services and e-exports. With the coordination of our Minister of Trade, Ruhsar Pekcan, we are working on the topics as integration of blockchain systems and digital transformation in exports. With new strategies and sustainable, value added increase in our exports I strongly believe that we will become an economy that gives a foreign trade surplus in the future.