Is there new economic cooperation between Turkey and Greece?
The Turkish business world expects that the visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Michotakis to Turkey and his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday will reflect on the two countries' economic relations.
During the recent period, Turkey has taken many decisions to enhance economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Israel and has intensified its contacts with Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
There is optimism in the Turkish business world regarding the expected positive repercussions of the meeting between Erdogan and Michotakes on the economic relations between the two countries, especially the trade and tourism sectors.
According to World Trade Center data, the volume of trade exchange between Turkey and Greece has fluctuated over the past ten years. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2012 amounted to about 5 billion dollars and exceeded 6 billion dollars in 2014, while it declined to 5.3 billion dollars in 2021. The Turkish exports to Greece last year amounted to 3.1 billion dollars, while imports amounted to 2. 2 billion dollars.
The leading Turkish exports to Greece are chemical, steel, electrical, electronics, automobile, and textile.
During 2002-2021, the value of Greek direct investments in Turkey amounted to 7 billion dollars. This figure constitutes about 3.9 percent of the total international direct investments carried out in Turkey during the mentioned period.
In statements to Anadolu Agency, Levent Sadiq Ahmed, head of the Turkish-Greek Business Council at the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board, spoke about the economic relations between Turkey and Greece and the expectations of the business world in Turkey regarding the Greek Prime Minister's visit to Istanbul.
Sadiq Ahmed expressed the Turkish business world's welcome of the visit and its importance, especially in this sensitive period in which the world is witnessing a Russian-Ukrainian war.
He pointed out that strengthening diplomatic relations between the two countries will increase the courage of the business world and will be an important motivating factor for businessmen from both countries.
He also expressed their desire to raise the volume of trade exchange between the two countries from 5 to 6-7 billion dollars within a short period, calling for facilitating the procedures for Turkish businessmen to implement investments in Greece.
He explained that most Turkish imports from Greece are in petrochemicals and agricultural products. While Turkish exports to Greece include many sectors, most notably cars, ready-made clothes, and machinery.
Levent Sadiq Ahmed pointed out that there are great opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in agriculture, tourism, and energy.
"The two countries have great potentials for cooperation in the field of agriculture. As for tourism, joint tourist packages and tours can organize in which tourists stay a few days in Greece and a few days in Turkey. About the energy, Turkish and Greek companies can unite among themselves and carry out joint investments in the energy field.
He announced their desire to hold a business forum in which businessmen from the two countries would meet in the presence of President Erdogan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis.
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