ADDS DEFENSE MINISTER'S REMARKS
By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey will take care of sectors focusing on exports and value-added production in the days to come, Turkey's finance and treasury minister said on Wednesday.
In his 2020 budget speech to parliament, Berat Albayrak said Turkey's exports have not fallen despite the contraction in global trade.
Turkey has supported domestic production and resources to bring down Turkey's imports, said Albayrak.
"In the coming days, we will continue to take care of supporting sectors based on exports and value-added production," he added.
After contractions of 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively, in the first two quarters of 2019, Turkey's economy grew 0.9% year-on-year in the third quarter of this year, according to the country's statistical authority.
In 2018 the economy posted annual growth of 2.8%, narrowing in the last quarter.
The country's new economic program for 2020-2022, unveiled on Sept. 30, targets 5% annual growth rate for each of the next three years.
Albayrak noted that the move of Turkey's Central Bank to Istanbul would be completed in 2022.
Also speaking to parliament, Turkey’s defense minister criticized the U.S. attitude towards Turkey on F-35 fighter jets.
"If we are excluded from F-35 project unfairly and contrary to the spirit of strategic partnership due to the S-400 purchase, we are naturally obliged to embark on another quest to fulfill our needs," said Hulusi Akar.
In July, the U.S. suspended Turkey’s involvement in a program for F-35 fighter jets, saying its purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system could endanger the aircraft, a claim Turkey has consistently denied.
Turkey produces parts for F-35 and is a partner in the jet program. It warned any effort to remove it from the production chain would be very costly.
It has also said it might pursue alternatives to the F-35s.