Trade with Syria hit by Turkey’s sanctions
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The cross-border trade in Turkey’s southeast has started to face a huge decline. DHA photoTurkey’s suspension of all financial relations with Syria and freezing of Syrian government assets in the country have the potential to cause a serious decline in bilateral trade between Turkey and Syria, said a top executive of the Turkish-Syrian Business Council yesterday.
“The sanctions seem to be rather symbolic but will cause decline in trade relations,” said Sadık Yıldız, a council board member of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), commenting on Turkey’s sanction against Syria announced yesterday. Yıldız said while there were not strong relations between the central banks of both countries, “the decision will still cause concern among businessmen.” He said Turkey also froze nearly $250 million in Eximbank credit to be used in projects in Syria. Davutoğlu said Turkey would stop all transactions with the Commercial Bank of Syria, except for existing transactions, and would halt all credit agreements signed with Eximbank to finance Syrian infrastructure projects. “We have already stopped all our operations in the country,” said Yıldız. “Sanctions are a sign for Turkey’s position as it seems to continue to affect business relations,” he said. “Trade between Turkey and Syria has already decreased by 50 percent this month,” said Yıldız, noting that the official data has not yet been released. “We initially expected a 30 percent increase in bilateral trade this year to reach $5 billion in trade volume in few years time.” Turkey and Syria had nearly $2.5 billion in trade volume in the last year, according to official data.