The decline in Chinese exports due to the new coronavirus outbreak is expected to pose further risk to countries selling Chinese exported goods, and Turkey is no exception. The virus has been spreading rapidly and has already affected the global economy. The volume of cargo transportation carrying Chinese products has also decreased significantly, recent data showed.
The Tahtakale neighborhood of the district of Eminönü, a historic site in Istanbul and an area home to many shops selling products from electronics to garments, some of which have been depending on imports from China is seeing a decline in sales.
Ergin Baykuş, a souvenir wholesale trader in the neighborhood told the Demirören News Agency (DHA) that there is an overall drop in sales which, he argues, will continue for at least four to five months even if the outbreak of the virus is prevented since it takes that amount of time for Chinese goods to reach Turkey.
Production in China slowed down and even halted in some provinces, due to a lockdown on cities amid official’s effort to curb the virus which emerged in China’s central Hubei province at the end of 2019, spreading to over two dozen countries since first being identified in December, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global emergency. The new type of coronavirus has killed nearly 500 people so far. More than 20 countries have confirmed cases of the pathogen, which has infected at least 24,000 in mainland China.
Erdoğan Özdemir, another retailer who has an electronic shop at Tahtakale said that Chinese goods keep the trade ongoing as they are cheaper than those purchased elsewhere, adding that they are now selling the goods from their stocks but once they are finished, there will be a big problem.
Shopkeepers say their usual customers are even hesitant to buy from the shops due to fear over the virus’ contagiousness.
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