Erdoğan, Putin urge the use of national currencies in trade

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 11.08.2016 22:10

The meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in St. Petersburg resulted in remarks by Putin stressing that the Turkish lira and ruble should be used in foreign trade between Turkey and Russia, decreasing the demand for the U.S. dollar.

Upon his return from Russia, while speaking to a group of journalists, Erdoğan said Putin drew special attention to the benefits of a trade carried out through the use of each country's currency. Thereby, Erdoğan expressed that both Turkey and Russia would benefit from the dollar's depreciation, reducing its damaging effects like exchange rate fluctuations on markets.

Although the more frequent use of the lira and ruble in trade between Turkey and Russia was discussed several times last year, the high-level meeting on Tuesday will pave the way for more concrete results. Regarding this, Erdoğan declared that the time to take action is now, with the initiation of talks by the relevant ministries of both countries. He added that this will highly likely be a topic to be discussed at the meeting of the High-level Strategic Council at the end of this year.

Previously, Russia also agreed with China to carry out trade that relied less on the dollar and give preference to national currencies.

The use of the lira in foreign trade has been on the rise in recent years. According to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Friday, the lira's use in Turkish exports saw a rise of 22 percent in the first half of the year when compared to the same period last year. Thus, $3.7 billion of total exports sales, which are worth $71.7 billion, realized in the first half of the year, were carried out in lira.

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