Turkish exporters hail new Ro-Ro route to Aqaba, Jordan
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoA new Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) route to Jordan’s port of Aqaba from Turkey announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu last week could boost exports to the Middle East, Turkish Exporters Assembly head Mehmet Büyükekşi said March 30.
In his visit to Jordan last weekend, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the new Ro-Ro route, which Turkey is currently working on, will enable Turkish export trucks and trailers to reach Middle Eastern countries via ships without passing through tense Syria.
“I believe thanks to the planned new route, our trade relations with the Arab world will further promote relations. Both countries will significantly benefit from new Ro-Ro voyages,” Büyükekşi said.
“Also I believe that with infrastructure investments around Turkey’s port city of İskenderun, Ro-Ro voyages will offer significant advantages to the exporters near this region,” he added.
Büyükekşi underlined the significant advantages of Ro-Ro transport model, such as shorter voyage times, speedy cargo handling, and low costs that may also enable the diversification of exported Turkish products.
Exporters expect the new Ro-Ro route to not only boost exports but also promote tourism by encouraging Turkish Muslim pilgrims en route to Mecca to pass through Jordan.
Mediterranean Exporters Association head Bülent Aymen echoed Büyüekşi’s remarks, stressing that Egypt’s steep price for passing through the Suez Canal renders current Ro-Ro voyages between Iskenderun and Saudi Arabia’s port of Duba unfeasible for many exporters.
Aymen called the voyages between Aqaba and Iskenderun “a lifesaver for exports,” especially for perishable goods like fruit and vegetables.
However, Aymen added that launch of Ro-Ro voyages alone would not be sufficient and the governments involved should cooperate to reduce costs down to $3,000 per truck.
“Jordan should reduce its tolls. Our government also should provide financial support to the Ro-Ro transport model. Discounting the cost from $5,000 to $3,000 per truck would make it an attractive choice,” he said.