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Efforts to Increase Trade Volume between Turkey and Arab Countries | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A shipping container area in Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Photo: Reuters

Ankara- Turkey is seeking to increase the trade volume with Arab countries to reach $70 billion in 2017.

The head of the Turkish-Arab Countries Business Association, Sabuhi Attar, said on the sidelines of a fair in West Turkey’s Izmir that Turkish-Arab relations are witnessing strong collaboration since 2003, which reflected positively on economic cooperation.

The trade volume between Turkey and Arab countries stood at $9 billion in 2003 and increased fivefold. This figure will be $70 billion in 2017, he said.

Attar said that Turkey and Arab countries have strong relations with ongoing partnerships, recalling that Ankara has collaborated with many Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

According to Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, trade volume between Turkey and Arab countries reached $53 billion at the end of 2014, and is expected to increase to $70 billion in 2017.

The minister said that his country is working on establishing a Turkish industrial zone in Iraq and is seeking to create economic zones in all Arab countries.

Turkey is also seeking to improve economic relations with Gulf Cooperation Council states and culminate them with a free trade agreement as soon as possible.

On recent terrorist attacks that shook Turkey, Attar said that investors usually look for safe areas, and terrorism affects the economy in Turkey but things ultimately go back to the right track.

Attar pointed out that the attacks in Turkey and the attempted coup on July 15, may occur in all countries, saying terrorism was a global problem.

“When it comes to trade, investment and industry, stability is required,” he said, adding, “If there is no stability, investments will slow down. In such times, we are trying for more collaborations and guidance with our businesspeople so that this tempo will not fall. We are trying to create more projects.”

Noting that Arab countries mostly invest in the construction sector, Attar said the investment projects in the tourism, food, and textile industries were also drawn up.