(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Turkey will make it harder to import goods except for strategic products and those that cannot be produced domestically, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak was quoted as saying yesterday, after Ankara imposed additional tariffs on hundreds of products.
'Imports will not be easy, he was quoted as saying by state-owned Anadolu news agency, adding that domestic production will be prioritised.
He said Ankara will implement long-term lira financing programmes for the industry sector.
A sharp decline in exports during the coronavirus pandemic has lead to renewed concerns about Turkey's current account, while a fall in central bank reserves has added to worries about Turkey's ability to service external debt.
Recent moves suggest that Turkey is turning to import compression to offset the risks of external debt, as well as moves towards 'soft capital controls, said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging market economist at Capital Economics.
Ankara on Wednesday imposed additional tariffs of up to 30% on imports of more than 800 items including work and agriculture machinery, according to a statement in the Official Gazette, a move that could limit the current account deficit.
Last week, it announced additional tariffs on dozens of goods of up to 30%.
Turkey's trade deficit widened 13.4% year-on-year to $3.4bn in April, with exports falling more than 40%.
The current account deficit widened sharply to $4.92bn in March, central bank data showed, due to the larger trade deficit, lower tourism income and portfolio outflows.
Albayrak was also quoted as saying Turkey will carry out swaps in local currencies more effectively.
Turkey's consumer confidence index rose to 59.5 points in May, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed yesterday, climbing from April's 54.9, its lowest level since the data was first published in 2004. The coronavirus outbreak has slowed the economy and sapped consumer confidence.
Separately, the Turkish Treasury said yesterday that it will issue one-year fixed-coupon euro- and US dollar-denominated sukuk and bonds to corporate investors on May 27.
In a statement, the treasury said the euro-denominated sukuk and government debt security will have a 1.25% periodic rate every six months and the dollar-denominated debt securities will have a 1.75% six month rate payment for investors.
The treasury will issue debt instruments to diversify financing tools and widen the investor base, it also said.
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