Domestic Economy

$5b Non-Oil Trade With Turkey

$5b Non-Oil Trade With Turkey
$5b Non-Oil Trade With Turkey

Iran’s trade relations with regional countries, such as Turkey, is based on win-win policy, deputy minister of industry, mine and trade, Mojtaba Khosrotaj said, speaking at a conference on Iran-Turkey trade held in Tehran on Tuesday.

“Iran exported more than $1.7 billion worth of non-oil commodities to Turkey over the past 11 months in the current Iranian calendar year (ending March 20), while goods valued at $2 billion were imported from Turkey during the same period; therefore, trade (excluding oil) between Tehran and Ankara including technical and engineering services reached $5 billion,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying.

Iran has exported agricultural products including $17 million worth of honey, $80 million worth of pistachios, $6.6 million worth of walnuts and $9 million worth of watermelons to Turkey over the 11-month period, said the official, observing that Iran holds a significant share in Turkey’s agricultural products market.

The conference titled “Effective Trade between Iran and Turkey” opened on March 3, with focus on facilitating trade between the two countries. Businesspeople and traders from both countries participated in the event.

The deputy minister noted that holding such conferences prepares the ground for exchange of views and interaction between officials from both sides, thus creating a healthy atmosphere for expansion of bilateral cooperation and removal of obstacles in trade between the two countries.

Also referring to the Turkish Textile and Garments Exhibition held in Tehran last month, he said exhibitions of such scale will help the businessmen from both countries to launch joint production lines and promote their products.

  Call for Trade Expansion

Addressing the Iran-Turkey trade conference on Tuesday, head of Tehran’s  chamber of commerce, industries, mines and agriculture,  Yahya Al-e Es’haq called for expansion of trade relations between Iran and Turkey.

“Instead of competing, Iran and Turkey should try to complement each other in their trade capacities, in order to gain a stronger foothold in the regional market with a total population of more than 500 million people,” he was quoted by IRNA as saying.

The official also suggested establishing a “trilateral consortium” between Iran, Turkey and Iraq, so that the neighboring countries can seize the multiple opportunities in the Iraqi market.

Iran and Turkey have been pursuing to broaden their business relations over the past two decades. While crude oil and natural gas account for the majority of Iran’s exports to Turkey, construction materials such as polymers, petrochemical products and cement, as well as food products constitute Iran’s main non-oil exports to the neighboring country.

  Plan to Increase Bilateral Trade to $35b

Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci, said on Saturday this week that Tehran-Ankara bilateral trade [including oil] will increase from its current $14 billion to $35 billion in the near future.

According to Turkey’s official statistics, the total value of trade between Tehran and Ankara stood at $6.5 billion in the first half of 2014. It rose to $22 billion in 2012 before dipping to $14.5 billion in the following year, largely due to the economic sanctions imposed on Tehran by the West over its nuclear energy program. Iran and Turkey signed 10 economic cooperation agreements during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Ankara back in June 2014. The two sides also signed a preferential trade agreement when the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iran in January. Economists are hoping that the preferential trade agreement (PTA) signed between Iran and Turkey will help boost bilateral trade.