Turkish exporters meet Iranian counterparts to boost ties
Sadi Özdemir - TEHRAN
AP photoA total of 50 Turkish food, furniture and sea food exporters met their Iranian counterparts as well as Iranian authorities to discuss further opportunities of cooperation in the new period of Iran. The future of the relations seems to be quite promising, according to Turkish exporters.
The heads of three exporters’ associations based in Istanbul and the representatives from these associations visited Iran to discuss how to boost bilateral trade with around 100 Iranian companies. They held around 300 bilateral talks. Some Iranian companies have even offered to start co-production. Iranian private sector representatives said it is possible to rebound Turkey’s exports to Iran, which regressed to $1.5 billion over this year, to 2011 levels, which were around $3.5 billion, again, according to Turkish exporters.
“The possible lifting of sanctions over Iran will create huge opportunities for us. We have now taken the first step to boost the ties in the post-sanction period. Our exports to Iran are not at the desired levels. Our bilateral ties sometimes slowed down due to several conjectural reasons, but never stopped. We can see a skyrocketing in ties if everything goes in line with our expectations,” said the head of the Grains, Legumes, Oil Seeds and Products Exporters Association, Zekeriya Mete.
The head of Furniture, Paper and Forestry Product Exporters Association, Ahmet Güleç, said Turkish exporters should take a share in the Iranian market through well-established marketing strategies.
“With the lifting of sanctions in Iran, our companies will have the chance to open stores in the market again. The number of Turkish stores could reach 500 in just three years thanks to several advantages of the Turkish-Iranian Preferential Trade Agreement. Some Iranian companies have offered to start joint production activities or build partnership with the use of brands. We’ll evaluate these offers as well as other opportunities in the market,” he said.
Another sector representative said Turkey can sell sea products to the Iranian market, in which the annual consumption per capita is approximately 3.5 kilos.
“Our sector makes exports to European markets and the United States. Why shouldn’t we sell sea products to our neighbor? We can definitely do this as long as bureaucratic obstacles and high customs barriers are lifted,” said the head of Istanbul Water Products and Animal Products Exporters Association, Tuncay Sagun.