As we are leaving the year 2017 behind, we can say that, despite all the difficulties in the economy of the world and our country, 2017 has been very efficient and above our expectation.
Although our potential is far above the current level, despite the difficulties and uncertainties that we have experienced, we are highly motivated by the export-driven growth target and working really hard for it. According to the global trade data published by the World Trade Organization, there is a 2.6 percent contraction in global trade in 2016. Despite all the difficulties, Turkey’s exports in 2016 amounted to 142.6 billion dollars with a decrease of 1.2 percent. Our total exports from our association in 2016 increased by 4 percent compared to the previous year and amounted to 11 billion dollars. In October of 2017, exports increased by 14 percent to 1 billion 92 million 956 thousand dollars. When the months of October of our association’s 78-year history was taken into consideration, we recorded these stats as a historical record. We are very proud of having accomplished this success and I thank all of our members for contributing to our export. In January-October 2017, exports from our Association increased by 6 percent compared to the same period of last year and reached 9 billion 582 million dollars. In the last year, Aegean exporters have reached exports of 11 billion 420 million dollars with a 5 percent increase. Our exportation has increased by 16 percent across the country and reached 13 billion 527 million 982 thousand dollars, while total exports in January-October 2017 increased by 11 percent and reached 128 billion 659 million dollars. The increase in numbers is promising. According to the Medium-Term Program announced at the end of last month, for the next three years, our economy is forecasted to grow by 5.5 percent on average, including this year. In order to achieve this goal, besides many measures to be taken, fulfilling the requirements of the export-based growth target is a necessity to increase the support in this subject. First of all, we need a sustainable trust environment that we need. The risks in the global economy are still present. The crises that persist in Europe bring uncertainties. The adverse economic developments in China and the USA and geopolitical threats in our close geography continue to have an impact on us. We must be prepared for the breezy winds of the world economy. We should be able to predict our risks and take precautions.
Besides, we are concerned about the excessive fluctuation of the exchange rate. Within the 5 percent of growth, 2.2 percent was through exports. After the successful export, the export target of the Medium-Term Program was revised upwards from 153.3 billion dollars to 156.3 billion dollars. Turkish exporters proved the how accurate this revision was with their export performance in October. Our exports for the last 1 year reached 154 billion 227 million dollars. We will reach the export target of 156.5 billion dollars. Our biggest worry in this process is the excessive fluctuation. 10% depreciation seems to favor exporters in the short term, but we experienced in the past the negative reflection of the decrease of the exchange rate to the previous levels in medium and long-term.
It is important for us that the Ministry of Finance stated they are going to allocate more resources for export in the days we passed.
While we strive to reach our targets with all our energy and motivation, it is essential that we have such important supports as we can do even better. We are pleased that the source of exports in 2018 will be raised from 3 billion liras to 4.2 billion liras and that this resource will be increased further in the years to come.
Worldwide trade and competition conditions are getting challenging. The continuity of these supports and radical reforms is very important as we can produce strong competitive export policies.
First of all, I wish that the year 2018 will bring peace and tranquility to our country. I would like to express that we will be on the verge of fulfilling all kinds of duties and responsibilities to ourselves, as is the case with the Aegean Exporter Unions, with the belief that we will have a year in which we will achieve much more successful results in the economy.