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Turkish fruits and vegetables are actually preferred over Greek products, which dominate the Egyptian market due to zero-duty, a sector director says. REUTERS photo

Turkish fruits and vegetables are actually preferred over Greek products, which dominate the Egyptian market due to zero-duty, a sector director says. REUTERS photo

Turkish agricultural products lag behind Greek goods in the Egyptian market due to high customs duties and a lack of promotions, an official from an agricultural federation has said.

“Greek products, which are exempted from customs duties, dominate the Egyptian market but consumers want to buy quality Turkish goods even though their price is higher,” said Halil Öztürk, the head of the Turkish Fruit and Vegetable Commissioners’ Federation.

Exports over Syria

Egypt is an important export market for Turkey as there is a huge demand for Turkish goods, so exporters want the Turkish government to settle customs duties with Cairo, he said.

In his remarks, the exporters’ representative said Turkish producers could ship their products to the Egyptian cities Cairo or Alexandria by first shipping them through Syria. He asserted they can not export the goods directly to Egypt also because of lacking the opportunity to promote Turkish goods in Egypt market.

Öztürk said there was actually a huge demand for Turkish fruits and vegetables in Egypt, with apples at the top of the list. He said they had reached out to Egyptian tradesmen and invited them to Turkey, agreeing to export 5,000 tons of apples in principle but the deal could not be signed due to a 21 percent customs duty. 

Last October, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi expressed his desire to settle the issue. “Let our ties be straightforward. Let’s travel without visas. Let’s remove the obstacles of customs duties facing mutual business,” he said during a visit to Turkey.

Turkey is one of the countries that have embraced the incoming Egyptian government most but the only problem is tax, Öztürk has also said.

February/24/2013

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