Full liberalization in land transport between EU, Turkey to add 3.5 bln euros in trade: Report

Full liberalization in land transport between EU, Turkey to add 3.5 bln euros in trade: Report

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Full liberalization in land transport between EU, Turkey to add 3.5 bln euros in trade: Report With the lifting of barriers in land transportation between EU member countries and Turkey, the bilateral trade volume has the potential to increase by 3.5 billion euros, creating 39,000 new jobs, according to a fresh study by the European Commission, the Turkish Transporters’ Association (UND) stated today. 

This report will likely strengthen the hand of Turkey when its Customs Union deal with the EU is reopened to negotiation at the beginning of 2016, UND executives said at a press meeting on July 22 to announce the results of the study with the permission of the European Commission. 

The report was prepared by the European Commission with independent research institutions, but the results of the study have yet to be officially revealed. 

The report showed that bilateral trade between the EU and Turkey may increase by 3.5 billion euros annually if land transportation barriers are lifted. 

If the barriers are abolished, Turkey’s exports to the bloc will rise by 1.9 billion euros and the EU’s exports to Turkey will rise by 1.6 billion euros, the report predicted. 

With the expected decrease in land transportation costs, the number of Turkish transporters’ trips to the EU will rise by 11 percent and EU consumers will save around 145 million euros. Additionally, around 25,000 new jobs will be created in Turkey and 14,000 in the EU with the realization of full liberalization in the sector. 

An obstacle to ‘free movement of goods’

Today, Turkish trucks make around 300,000 trips to the EU annually, paying 2,500-3,000 euros as freight charge per trip. 

“As the members of the UND, we have for years strongly advocated the benefits of lifting barriers to land transportation between the EU and Turkey. This report is of great importance as it shows the accuracy of our claims,” UND President Çetin Nuhoğlu said at the Istanbul meeting. 

Nuhoğlu said the quotas over land transportation have long been an obstacle to the free movement of goods, disrupting the functioning of the Customs Union. 

“This latest report therefore strengthens Turkey’s hand ahead of the Customs Union negotiations, which are scheduled to start at the beginning of 2016,” he noted.

Nuhoğlu claimed that full liberalization in the sector may actually bring even bigger gains. 

“According to research we conducted with Sabancı University, Turkey’s exports to the EU could increase by up to 5 billion euros, while bilateral trade may rise by 10 billion euros, rather than 3.5 billion euros,” he said. 

Turkey currently makes some 43 percent of its total exports to EU countries. Around 40 percent of these exports are made through overland transportation routes, according to UND data.