As we near the end of another year, I would first like to remark that we are leaving behind a year that is not smooth for our industry. The limited increases in orders indicate that the slowdown in our industry has started to expand since the spring.
In this context, the sectoral growth is likely to narrow, even if by 1-2 percent, at the end of the year. However, there are some compensatory developments at the export end. We are expecting a performance higher than 10 percent in product exports by the end of the year. Considering this conjuncture, the export deserves to rank higher in our agenda. Although EU countries are of great importance for our exports as our traditional markets, increasing the share of the Middle East, Russia and the neighboring countries and Africa is also critical for balancing the commercial dependence on the EU.
We can say that the optimistic expectations for 2019 are limited in terms of global economy. The growth appetite of the global economy appears limited and there are not many people expecting a different year than 2018. Similarly, a slight growth is projected for the Turkish economy. For our industry, 2019 may be dominated by foreign markets rather than domestic markets. Additionally, the expected slowdown in consumption and investment expenditures means a further slowdown in industries that feed over thirty individual sectors like us.