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Turkish trade with neighbors on the rise

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency | 6/28/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey’s exports to neighboring countries rose 9.6 percent to $4.7 billion during the period from January to April this year, according to officials from the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade.

Turkey’s exports to neighboring countries rose 9.6 percent to $4.7 billion during the period from January to April this year, according to officials from the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade.

During the same period, Turkey’s imports from neighboring countries have also shown a large increase. Turkey imported $3.8 billion worth of goods, representing a rise of 77.7 percent.

It is expected that increasing trade with neighboring countries will continue in the upcoming period.

Thanks to the government’s Neighboring Countries Strategy, economic, social and cultural relations are being strengthened, according to officials. This strategy has also provided much sought for diversity in Turkey’s foreign trade partners.

The strategy was first implemented in 2000. With this strategy plan, Turkey’s total exports to its neighboring countries have grown 43 percent between 1995 and 2005.

In the last 10 years, Turkey’s foreign trade increased 195 percent. During this period, Turkey’s commercial relations with neighboring countries have experienced some important improvements.

Turkey’s total foreign trade volume with Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Greece has grown by 445 percent between 2000 and 2009. The share of Turkey’s exports to neighboring countries was 13 percent of the grand total of its exports last year, a sharp rise from the 5 percent reported in 2000.

Exports to Georgia and Iraq experienced 15 and 0.5 percent decreases, respectively. However, Turkey’s imports with all its neighboring countries showed an increase.

Turkey exports manufactured and semi-manufactured goods to its neighbors in the Middle East and the Caucasus. Turkey imports mainly oil, raw natural gas and related products from Iraq, Iran and Azerbaijan.

Because of the global crisis, Turkey’s trade volume with Bulgaria declined last year. However, a recovery is expected this year. While Turkey exports vegetables and plastic products to Bulgaria, it imports copper, sunflowers, solid mineral fuel and oilseed from Bulgaria.

Turkey exports iron rods, cement and staple food to Iraq and iron and steel products and wood to Iran. Turkey exports mainly cement to Syria.

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