Turkey's main exports are food, textiles, clothing, iron, steel, ships, consumer electronics, appliances and automotive goods. Turkey is defined as an emerging market economy by the International Monetary Fund.
Turkey is one of the few countries that span two continents: Europe and Asia. It has trading partners on both. Its primary export partners are Germany, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
Turkey's major agricultural exports include hazelnuts, cherries, figs, watermelons, cucumbers, green peppers and pistachios. Its television manufacturer, Vestel, is one of the largest in Europe and accounted for over half of the televisions manufactured in Europe in 2006. Turkey is also one of the world's largest shipbuilders; in 2007 its output was surpassed by only China, South Korea and Japan.
Turkey maintains a chronic deficit in its current account balance because its imports greatly exceed its exports. This requires Turkey to seek substantial external financing on the world capital markets.
Turkish businessmen and government economic officials view exports to markets other than the West as the quickest way to grow its economy. Because of this, Turkey actively pursues export opportunities in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Of particular interest is Iraq, which is one of Turkey's largest export markets.