Turkey has the potential of emerging stronger from the COVID-19 crisis and increasing its share of exports in the European markets thanks to its location and resilient supply chains, the chairman of a leading exporters’ group said.
Speaking at a webinar titled “The Course of the Coronavirus in Target Markets” Monday, Aegean Exporters' Association Coordinating Chairman Jak Eskinazi lauded steps taken by Turkey to ensure the sustainability of supply chains such as developing contactless foreign trade system at customs gates and resuming roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships.
Eskinazi said Turkey has the opportunity to form new cooperations and increase its foreign trade potential with neighboring countries, especially with the EU market, once the international freight transportation begins to return back to normal and pandemic-related border restrictions are lifted.
“Countries experienced serious crises even in the production of most basic health equipment. The pandemic highlighted the importance of geographical proximity and strong cooperation among neighbors,” Eskinazi said.
He noted that Turkey has a greater advantage of filling the void in post-pandemic foreign trade due to its young and dynamic population, qualified workforce and fast production capabilities.
“Using this power to expand our exports in neighboring countries will be a solid step to get a larger share in the EU market,” Eskinazi said.
Eskinazi said targeting the East European markets, especially Bulgaria and Romania, could bring new opportunities for Turkish exporters in the post-pandemic period. Turkey recorded a total of $1.36 billion (TL 9.32 billion) exports to Romania and $875 million exports to Bulgaria in the January-March period.
Turkey has been cited as one of the countries that stands to gain the most from a shift of supply chains amid the pandemic and could emerge stronger from the crisis.
A recent study by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) found that of over three dozen countries where the bank invests, Turkey has a “revealed comparative advantage (RCA).”
Turkey has RCA in 189 product groups, the largest of any country in the EBRD regions. The country also proved to have a significant delivery deadline advantage over the Far East.
RCA, defined as the ratio of a product’s share in a country’s total exports and the share of that product in global trade, helps measure the extent to which countries could benefit from a shift of supply chains away from China, currently the dominant global supplier.
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