Loss in Turkish exports to Iraq reaches 30 percent
Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi. DHA PhotoTurkey’s exports to Iraq declined by 30 percent in July, following a 21 percent decline in June, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi has said, as tension and violence in Turkey’s southeastern neighbor pressures security and business ties.
“Iraq is our second top export market after Germany with $12 billion in exports annually,” Büyükekşi said at an iftar meal organized by the Turkish Shoe Industrialists Association (TASD) on July 14.
“Our exports to Iraq reached $5.04 billion in the first five months of the year, an 11 percent rise. However, exports retreated by 21 percent in June. And this month the retreat has risen to 30 percent,” he added.
Iraq has become one of the closest trade allies of Turkey in recent years, as Baghdad rebuilds its economy after decades of war and sanctions and Ankara seeks to diversify its trade away from dependence on Europe.
Büyükekşi warned that the recent drop in exports to Iraq risked a 2.5-point negative impact on Turkey’s overall export performance for the year, echoing the concerns expressed by economic authorities about risks to the current account deficit.
Iraq has recently fallen into turmoil triggered by the seizure of the northern city of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last month.
Some 49 Turkish consulate staff members in Iraq are still being held hostage, with one month passing since they were kidnapped by ISIL militants.