The size of the import markets in China, Mexico, Russia and India, identified by Turkey as priority countries for exports in the new period, exceeds $2.8 trillion. Turkey will set specific strategies for these countries in order to get a greater share of this cake.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave the first signals of export-expansion strategies in the recently announced 100-day action program, announcing that exports to China, Mexico, Russia and India are among the priority issues under the Trade Ministry's objectives.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, on the other hand, stated that they will proceed to exports market, apply special strategies to the private markets and work hard to spread the "Made in Turkey" logo in these regions within the framework of the vision of growth with exports.
In 2017, the total import market of China, Mexico, Russia and India exceeded $2.8 trillion, while the Chinese market held $1.8 trillion of this figure.
Turkey, which has total exports of $7 billion to those countries, will set specific strategies and action plans to increase this figure.
China: Marble and metal ores lead in exports
There are significant opportunities in many sectors between Turkey and China, which has the highest foreign trade figures among these countries.
As of the end of last year, China's foreign trade volume amounted to $4.1 trillion, including $2.3 trillion in exports and $1.8 trillion in imports. While the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea led in China's foreign trade, Turkey ranked 28th with 0.8 percent.
By 2017, Turkey's trade with China reached $2.9 billion in exports and $23.4 billion in imports. Looking at the five-month figures this year, exports of $1.2 billion and imports of $9.9 billion were recorded. Meanwhile, metal ore came to the fore in export items to China. Travertine, water marble and limestone led the way in products that Turkey sold to China with $943 million. These products were followed by chrome ore with $258 million, natural borates with $128 million, precious metal ores with $125 million, and lead ore with $109 million, while radiators, wool and fleece were also among other major export items.
From China, Turkey mostly imported telephones, automatic data processing machines, synthetic filament yarns, and components, parts and accessories for vehicles. Considering the population density, the Chinese offer very important opportunities in terms of the food sector, especially in the case of hard shell fruits, fish, frozen crabs and other aquatic products, baby products, plain pasta, sausages, processed fruits and vegetables, mineral waters, medicines, and cosmetics. However, many of China's food imports have extremely strict and complex rules of documentation. Product quality control documents, food health certificates, quarantine certificates and certificates of origin are requested prior to the shipment of food.
India: A major market for pharmaceutical raw materials, construction
Looking at India's foreign trade data, imports of $337.4 billion and exports of $217 billion are noted. Exports to this country, whose population is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2025, is of great importance in the future as it is today.
As of last year, Turkey's trade with India reached $758.6 million in exports and $6.2 billion in imports. Mostly marble and travertine, iron and steel scraps, skin of cattle or horses, gold, washing machines and drying machines were exported to India, while petroleum, synthetic filament yarns, and components, parts and accessories for vehicles were imported.
India has a large export potential in raw materials of advanced pharmaceutical industry and in food products, especially olive oil, hard-shelled fruit and dry fruit, due to its population characteristics.
Construction and contracting, on the other hand, was the sector with the greatest potential between the two countries, while exports of precious metals and textile raw materials and machinery are also on the rise.
Russia: Potential in construction sector
Russia's foreign trade figures point to $357.1 billion in exports and $226.9 billion in imports. Russia mostly imports from China, Germany, the United States and Belarus, while Turkey ranks 16th among countries in Russia's imports.
Exports to Russia last year increased by nearly 58 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching $2.7 billion. Imports in the same period rose by nearly 29 percent to $19.5 billion. In the said period, trade volume climbed by 32 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching as $22.2 billion. While Russia mostly bought citrus fruits from Turkey, among export items, this product was followed by parts and components for vehicles, grapes, apricots, cherries and peaches.
The Russian market, which allows trade in rubles, has significant potential in terms of the pharmaceutical, food and construction sectors.
Mexico: A major market for automobiles and jewelry
Mexico achieved $409 billion in total exports and $420 billion in imports last year. Among the trading partners of the country, the U.S., China and Germany led the way, while Turkey reached $441 million in exports last year with $772 million in imports from Mexico.
The trade between Turkey and Mexico stood at a low volume due to geographical distance, high transportation costs, difficulties in transporting perishable products, the fact that both countries had similar production and export portfolios, and that Turkey was focused on the EU market and Mexico on the U.S. market.
The main products that are important for exports to Mexico are automobiles, jewelry, automotive spare parts, hazelnuts, trucks and vans, iron-steel profiles and wires.
Among the main products imported from Mexico are automobiles, vinyl chloride, telephones, medical devices, inorganic paint, dry legumes, ethylene polymers and data processing devices.
Industrial sectors and products that have a significant share in Mexico's imports and have potential for Turkey's exports, stand out as the automotive subindustry, machine tools, textile machines, food processing machinery, contracting services, construction machinery and construction materials.
There is also potential for cooperation between the two countries in sectors such as textiles, tourism, mining, renewable energy (especially solar energy), environmental technologies, agricultural industries, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, packaging materials and equipment, healthcare, aerospace industries, information technologies and TV series.