We witnessed the days when the pressure on Turkish lira and the trade wars continued to increase as a threat to our trade and economy. In these days, we were looking forward to the New Economic Program (YEP), which will be the road map of our economy for the next 3 years.
Considering the situation of the world trade and Turkey's economy, I think that the program, based on 3 fundamental merits, including balance, discipline and change, is highly realistic in terms of main macroeconomic objectives. It is consistent with the realities of our country.
We can see that the program was prepared to make our economy resistant to crises, to permanently reduce its dependence on foreign liquidity, to keep the central management budget deficit at low levels and to strengthen our export structure.
YEP, aims to restore price stability in the short term, to stabilize the economy and to ensure budget discipline. In the mid-term, it is the most important goal to establish sustainable growth.
At this point, we always specify that the best way to establish sustainable growth and reduce the current deficit is value-added exports. In particular, we are focusing on market and commodity diversification, deepening the existing market, integrating our companies with global value chains and increasing the share of high-technology products within our exports.
Since we were involved in the technical preparations of the new program, we are very happy to see that the new strategy is built on exports. As Minister of Treasury and Finance explained, while improving our macroeconomic conditions such as growth, reducing the current deficit and lowering unemployment, every step will be established on exports. Every policy change will be focused on value-added fields to increase exports. I believe this strategy will overcome the difficulties of this period and start giving its rewards in the recent future.
While the number of exporters and the quality of our exports are increasing, we predict that our export figures will surpass 170 billion dollars at the end of 2018. Regarding to our forecast contribution of net exports will continue to be positive to the end of the year. I believe that arrangements to be made under YEP will offer new opportunities to continue growth. The decline of economic growth expectation to 2.3% in 2019 is not a situation we are accustomed to; but the 182 billion-dollar export expectation shows that there will be 7.1% export increase annually. In this way, the contribution of net exports to growth is becoming more pronounced.
We know the strengths and weaknesses of our economy. We are closely interested in the problems of our exporters and looking for immediate solutions. With the policies to be implemented, we will make our economy strong as long as the growth is settled in a sustainable and healthy line. Thus, our resistance to global economic and political developments will be more solid. We, as the exporters, will continue to work to achieve higher figures, enter new markets and create better brands for Turkey. Since the New Economy Program forecasts the future growth with exports our responsibility is higher than before.