Turkey's exports to Venezuela tripled in 2018, a 223-percent rise compared to the previous year.
According to information from the Aegean Exporters' Association (EİB), Turkey's exports to Venezuela reached $120.8 million in 2018, versus $37.4 million in 2017.
Turkey mainly exported food products to Venezuela, which has very high inflation.
Pasta ranked first in exports with $27.89 million, followed by sunflower oil at $13.64 million, wheat flour at $7.86 million and red lentils at just over $5 million. Also, corn flour and sugar exports to Venezuela amounted to $1.55 million and $1.32 million, respectively.
Aegean Grain Pulses Oil Seeds and Products Exporters' Association Chairman Mustafa Terci told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the rapprochement between the leaders of the two countries had a direct impact on trade. Terci said that due to Venezuela's economic challenges, the country was in need of food products most; thus, Turkey exported food products. He added, "We extended our hand to Venezuela in the hard days it experienced, just as we did to Qatar, which was embargoed by neighboring countries in previous years."
Since exports to Venezuela started fast this year, Terci said that exports to Venezuela soared to around $8.96 million in January from $1.75 million in January 2010, a 411 percent rise. "If this momentum continues, we are likely to achieve $200 million. I think Turkish products will be permanent in Venezuela with their taste, quality and price advantage. We want to increase our exports to other South American countries as well," he concluded.
During his visit to the country in December, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said bilateral trade between Turkey and Venezuela had jumped to over $1 billion in 2018, a more than six fold increase over the previous year. The bilateral trade volume stood at $154 million in the previous year.
Furthermore, national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) also increased the number of flights, significantly contributing to Turkey's economic and trade ties with the region.
Turkey and Venezuela also inked an agreement to improve trade in May last year.