Erdoğan says Turkish exporters will be exempt from currency taxes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the country’s exporters will be exempt from taxes on purchases of foreign currency.

Turkey was taking the measure as it targeted annual exports of more than $200 billion compared with $171.4 billion in the 12 months to May, Erdoğan said in a speech to exporters in Istanbul on Sunday, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

Turkey has increased the cost of purchasing and holding foreign currency and delayed the settlement of some forex transactions in order to encourage businesses and consumers to use and keep liras. The lira lost 28 percent of its value against the dollar last year and has fallen an additional 10 percent in 2019.

Erdoğan said Turkey is now very close to achieving a current account surplus, helped by higher exports.

Turkey’s current account deficit has shrunk to a little over 1 percent of gross domestic product from as high as 6.5 percent in the summer of last year. The gap has narrowed after the lira’s declines made imports more expensive and helped spark an economic recession that further crimped demand for goods and services from abroad.