Turkey to initiate new preferential trade agreements
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 09, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 09, 2016 12:00 am
Turkey has precipitated its quest for alternative markets to Russia which has started violating the international law in Turkey's foreign trade activities. The government aims to prevent the losses stemming from Russia through preferential and free trade agreements.
The new economic roadmap prepared by Economy Ministry stipulates to initiate preferential trade agreements with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan firstly. According to Turkish Star daily, agreements are slated to be put in place on Jan. 1, 2017. Furthermore, negotiations on free trade agreements with Pakistan, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Ukraine are under way. Free trade agreements are expected to bring a decline in customs tariffs and help to increase mutual investments in the fields of industry and agriculture. Also, support for joint investments and the mutual protection of investments is being discussed. As a result of the preferential trade agreement that was put into force between Turkey and Iran on Jan. 1, 2015, customs tariffs on 140 Turkish products and 125 Iranian products were reduced. Commenting on the ongoing work, Economy Ministry authorities said new projects which will boost Turkey's foreign trade will be put in practice in the new year and priority in this regard will be given to Central Asian Turkish Republics and the Balkans.
A free trade agreement was initiated with Malaysia, a free trade agreement was signed with Singapore and a trade in services and investment agreement was signed with South Korea in 2015. According to Economy Ministry's export data for 2015, Turkey carried out the greatest number of exports to the EU, which imported $62 billion worth of goods from the country, corresponding to 46.4 percent of all exports. The EU was followed by the Middle East which imported $26.1 billion worth of goods and achieved a 19.5 percent share in Turkey's total exports. Exports to the Middle East dropped by 10.4 percent mainly because of the Iraqi impact. Meanwhile, the Ruble crisis and the Ukraine crisis had a negative impact on the economies of other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, where Turkey's exports tumbled by 31.6 percent. Furthermore, exports to Africa dropped by 8.8 percent to $12.3 billion due to the impact of the decline in oil and commodity prices. Turkey exported goods to a total of 239 countries in 2015.