In a bid to expand their foothold in the Latin American market, which has been designated a target destination in Turkey's recently announced Export Master Plan, Turkish exporters are planning to engage in an intense program of business diplomacy in the countries on the continent. In order to diversify markets and promote Turkish goods, delegates will also share ideas with business people from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama and Mexico, said İsmail Gülle, head of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM). The delegation will meet buyers from Latin American countries during a visit to Chile, the head of the exporters association said. In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Gülle said that the association has accelerated their efforts to strengthen market penetration and market adhesion of exporters and the recognition of Turkish products and culture by creating new export destinations in Latin America.
Indicating that Latin America comes to the fore among the target markets identified within the framework of the Export Master Plan, Gülle noted that they are carrying out target country research in the areas of defense and aerospace, machinery, automotive and electrical-electronics industries within the scope of increasing high technology intensity in exports.
Remarking that they carried out delegation activities for key markets in the region such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru, Gülle said that they are planning to send a delegation to Chile in the upcoming period. "As a result of our research, we have seen that industries such as ‘small electric home appliances,' ‘home textiles,' ‘plastic kitchenware' and ‘porcelain products,' in which Turkey is at an advantageous point, have significant potential in the entire Latin American market and in Chile particularly," he added. Indicating that they are yet to reach the desired share in the Latin American market, Gülle continued: "Chile's total imports in 2018 were $74 billion, while our exports to this region stood around $400 million and especially concentrated in the iron and steel sector. Through the delegations to be formed by TİM and our associations, we aim to break this traditional point of view of our companies and to increase the potential of other sectors in which we are strong apart from the iron and steel sector in the Latin American market."
Underlining that flight duration is important in terms of logistics in entering these markets, Gülle said that Turkish Airlines' (THY) addition of Mexico to its direct flight destinations recently has been welcomed by exporters. "Direct flights to Mexico, after Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Panama, will help our exporters accelerate their activities in the region and get faster results in bilateral relations which is the most important issue," he said.
Turkey-Brazil economic relations, which have hovered at a very low level so far, have great potential if companies and institutions operating in the same areas cooperate and carry out joint production and marketing. Because foreign trade deficit is largely against Turkey, it is of paramount importance to develop bilateral trade and economic relations.
According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, the volume of trade between Brazil and Turkey was about $3.7 billion last year. Only $489 million of it consisted of exports. Carbonates, automotive spare parts, iron and steel products, nuts, yarn, dried apricots, cement and tobacco take the lead in Turkey's exports to Brazil, while livestock, soybeans, semi-finished iron and steel products, cotton and coffee come to the fore in imports from the country.
Last year, the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Chile amounted to nearly $757 million, with $386.3 million being in exports and $370.6 million in imports.
Construction iron ranked first in export items at $64 million, followed by automobile at $28 million, buses-minibuses at $27 million and trucks-pickups trucks at $26 million. During the same period, refined copper and copper alloy constituted 50% of Turkey's imports from Chile.
Trade between Turkey and Mexico remains low due to the distance, high shipping costs, the fact that both countries have similar production and export portfolios, and the focus of Turkey on the EU market and of Mexico on the U.S. market.
Turkey's exports to Mexico were $600.4 million and its imports were $634.2 million last year. The trade volume between the two countries was estimated at about $1.2 billion.
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