Turkey eyes long-term trade ties with Russia

Turkey eyes long-term trade ties with Russia

Turkey eyes long-term trade ties with Russia

Turkey approaches Russian trade strategically, Minister Eker says.

Turkey is seeking to engage in a long-term trade alliance with Russia after Moscow’s ban on imported Western foods, Turkish Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker has said.

Saying Turkey has emerged as an alternative to procure banned food products, the minister announced a Russian delegation arrived yesterday in Ankara to hold talks with Turkish authorities to discuss potential trade deals.

“We aim to establish a long-term and permanent system within neighborhood relations,” he said, speaking at the Agricultural Products’ Export Assessment meeting.

“In other words, we side with the realization of a scheme that meets our more systematic and long-term targets, instead of a system that meets short-term, instant needs with a sudden reflex,” he stresses.

“We are keeping necessary technical talks and contact with our counterparts within this framework.”

Government representatives and exporters have said Moscow’s ban – a response to Western sanctions concerning the Ukraine crisis – provided an opportunity for Turkey to bolster its exports not only of food, but also consumer goods.

Eker said Turkey’s supply capacity and impact analyses will be considered to determine the amounts and variety of products to be exported to Russia. “There are some products demanded by Russia; white meat, milk, dairy products, eggs and some poultry products,” he said. “We have to approach this issue strategically … We will look to see if we can procure them or not, taking other markets into attention as well.”

Turkey was the 5th leading supplier of food to Russia with $1.68 billion worth of trade in 2013.