Anxious Turkish investors eyeing opportunities abroad (Al-Monitor, February 16,2018)
ARTICLE SUMMARY Mounting political tensions, uncertainties and declining rule of law in Turkey are pushing…
Turkey’s energy import bill — standing at $83.5 billion over 12 months in July — is a major factor behind its gaping current account deficit. And with Russia being Turkey’s main energy supplier, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to have pinned hope on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to help ease Turkey’s foreign exchange shortfall, wary that the Turkish lira might nosedive anew ahead of elections next year.
Erdogan’s political opponents are suspicious that his government could seal opaque deals with Moscow to secure fresh financial means or defer the bills of energy imports to after the elections, due in June 2023 at the latest.
Turkey’s current account registered a $4 billion deficit in July, bringing the cumulative gap to $36.6 billion in the first seven months of the year, according to central bank data released on Sept. 12. The country’s foreign trade deficit stood at $10.7 billion in July, meaning that tourism revenues and other foreign currency inflows failed to cover the gap, resulting in the $4 billion current account deficit. A foreign trade deficit of $11.2 billion last month portends a similar current account gap in August, which would bring the eight-month cumulative to more than $40 billion. In light of this trend, the government’s year-end forecast of $47.5 billion appears rather optimistic.