Turkey won't face trade problems with Iraq, Egypt: Minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoThe Egyptian government’s move to not renew its trade deal with Turkey was expected and will not hurt Turkey’s exports, and the decreasing trend in Turkey’s exports to Iraq will end soon, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Oct. 31.
“The expected cancelation of the Ro-Ro transport routes between Turkey and Egypt will not affect Turkey’s exports or transports to the region,” Zeybekci said.
Egypt had recently unilaterally announced that it would annul an agreement with Turkey for Ro-Ro and transit land transportation and declared it would not extend the agreement, which is in effect until April 2015. It also decided not to extend a comprehensive free trade agreement signed with Turkey during the rule of ousted former President Mohamed Morsi, the MENA news agency reported on Oct. 28.
“Turkey and Egypt should not let some negative occurrences affect their economic ties in the futures. It is impossible for us to ignore each other,” Zeybekci noted, adding that he believed the mutual economic interests would not be harmed.
He also said he hoped the decreasing trend in Turkey’s exports to Iraq would end soon.
“Some 30 percent of exports to Iraq are to its northern [Kurdistan Regional Government] part, and the rest to Baghdad. I believe the decreasing consumption trend will end soon in Iraq,” he said.
Exports to Iraq decreased by 10.5 percent in September to $911 million from the same month of 2013, according to Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) data revealed on Oct. 31, although overall exports increased by 4.6 percent in the same period.
“I believe we saw the worst plunge in our exports to Iraq last June when our Iraq exports decreased by around 30 percent from June 2013. I hope we will be seeing better figures by the end of October,” Zeybekci also said.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s exports in the first nine months increased by 5.5 percent, reaching $118.6 billion, while its imports decreased by 4.2 percent to $179.7 billion from the same period of the previous year, according to the TÜİK data.
The country’s foreign trade deficit shrank by 18.8 percent to $61.1 billion in the same period from the previous year. TÜİK said Turkey’s September exports reached $13.6 billion, with a 4.6 percent increase year-on-year, but imports declined to $20.6 billion, a 0.2 percent decrease.
Turkey’s exports to the European Union increased by 7.1 percent to $6.2 billion in September, compared with $5.6 billion in the same month of 2013.
The main destination of Turkish exports in September was Germany with $1.32 billion, followed by the U.K. with 921 million.
China was the main source of Turkish imports with $2.31 billion, followed by Russia with $2.02 billion.