Tourism in Turkey has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part of the economy. In 2012, 35.5 million foreign visitors arrived in Turkey, which ranked as the 6th most popular tourism destination in the world; they contributed $25.6 billion to Turkey’s revenues.
As of 2012, 15.7% of the tourists were from Germany, 11.3% from Russia, 7.7% from United Kingdom, 4.7% from Bulgaria, 4.4% from Georgia, 4.0% from Netherlands, 3,8% from Iran, 3,3% from France, 2.4% from USA, 2.3% from Syria and 40.3% from other countries.
Turkey has a large automotive industry, which produced 1,072,339 motor vehicles in 2012, ranking as the 16th largest producer in the world. The Turkish shipbuilding industry realized exports worth US$1.2 billion in 2011. The major export markets are Malta, Marshall Islands, Panama and the United Kingdom. Turkish shipyards have 15 floating docks of different sizes and one dry dock. Tuzla, Yalova, and Izmit have developed into dynamic shipbuilding centres. In 2011, there were 70 active shipyards in Turkey, with another 56 being built. Turkish shipyards are considered to be highly ranked in the production of chemical and oil tankers up to 10,000 dwt. Turkish yards are also highly regarded in the production of mega yachts.
Turkish brands like Beko and Vestel are among the largest producers of consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe, and invest a substantial amount of funds for research and development in new technologies related to these fields.
Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, and machine industry. In 2010, the agricultural sector accounted for 9% of GDP, while the industrial sector accounted for 26% and the services sector 65%. However, agriculture still accounted for 24.7% of employment. In 2004, it was estimated that 46% of total disposable income was received by the top of 20% income earners, while the lowest 20% received 6%. The rate of female employment in Turkey was 29.5% in 2012, the lowest among all OECD countries.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) was $8.3 billion in 2012, a figure expected to rise to $15 billion in 2013. In 2012 Fitch Group upgraded Turkey’s credit rating to investment grade after an 18-year gap; this was followed by a ratings upgrade by Moody’s in May 2013, as the service lifted Turkey’s government bond ratings to the lowest investment grade Baa3.
The European Union – Turkey Customs Union, led to an extensive liberalization of tariff rates,and forms the pillar of Turkey’s trade policy. By 2011 exports were $143.5 bn and in 2012 it was $163 bn (main export partners in 2012: Germany 8.6%, Iraq 7.1%, Iran 6.5%, UK 5.7%, UAE 5.4%). However larger imports, which amounted to $229 billion in 2012, threatened the balance of trade (main import partners in 2012: Russia 11.3%, Germany 9%, China 9%, US 6%, Italy 5.6%, ).