Turkey's exports to Iraq, which came to a standstill due to attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), are getting back on track. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said that Turkey's exports to Iraq have exceeded $9 billion in 2014 thanks to the establishment of alternative routes and facilities. According to Zeybekci, inward processing certificates, which were issued prior to November 2014 and maintain active accounting, could be given a three-month extension. Moreover, he said they could also be extended on a quarterly basis if required.
Turkey's exports to Iraq were $6 billion, $8.3 billion, $10.8 billion and $11.8 billion in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively, marking a 30 percent growth every year. In the first half of last year, exports saw a serious decline due to attacks by ISIS. However, with ISIS being repulsed along with measures taken by Turkey, exports have begun to rapidly increase and hit $9.5 billion as of the end of 2014. Zeybekci referred to an evaluation meeting that was held with representatives of the sector to figure out the impact of Iraq's security problems on exports and investors after June 2014 as well as to discuss the measures to be taken. They held meetings with exporters in Istanbul, Gaziantep and Adana to address short-term support and alternative routes to maintain exports. Zeybekci noted that these improvements facilitated exports to Iraq worth $8.845 billion in the first 10 months of 2014. It is reported that the Iraqi central government has initiated works to construct a new pipeline from Kirkuk to Irbil in order to increase oil exports. In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Fuad Hussein, Secretary of the Oil and Gas Commission of the Kirkuk Provincial Assembly, said, "As the pipelines in Kirkuk are old, they can carry at most 175,000 barrels of oil per day. Therefore, the construction of a new pipeline has begun. It is expected to be completed in June. When the project is completed, it will carry 300,000 barrels of oil per day through the Kirkuk-Kurdistan-Ceyhan line."