Trade Office to Reopen in Istanbul

BY Hamodia Staff

A view of Dolmabahçe Palace and the skyscrapers of Levent financial district in the background, in Istanbul. Benreis

YERUSHALAYIM — Israel has decided to reopen the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s economic office in Istanbul, Turkey, starting August 1, after its activities were drastically reduced about three years ago in the summer of 2019 during a period of bilateral tension.

The reopening of the office will affect some 1,540 Israeli companies currently exporting to the Turkish market, the fourth most important trading partner in the Israeli economy and the fifth most important export destination in 2021.

A free trade area agreement between Israel and Turkey went into effect in 1997. By virtue of the trade agreement, four rounds of a joint economic committee between the countries took place, with the most recent in Yerushalayim in July 2009. Thanks to the current warming of relations between the countries, it has been determined that the fifth round will take place in the fall 2022 – the exact date to be published soon.

The Minister of Economy and Industry, Orna Barbivay said in a statement on Wednesday:

“The economic attaché plays a central role in deepening and strengthening economic relationships with Turkey – an important economic partner for Israel – by providing assistance and support for Israeli exports, by identifying and creating commercial opportunities and by significantly contributing to expanding bilateral trade. The reopening of the economic attaché reflects Israel’s commitment to deepening economic ties with Israel. We intend to soon promote a joint economic conference between the countries, after more than a decade.”

According to the Foreign Trade Administration, mutual trade of goods and business services between Israel and Turkey in 2021 stood at $7.7 billion, an increase of about 30% compared to 2020.

The volume of goods exported to Turkey in 2021 was about $1.9 billion (about 34% of Israeli exports to Euro-Asia and other European countries), a 30% increase compared to $1.4 billion in 2020. Israel exports to Turkey mainly chemicals (52%), base metals (14%) and rubber and plastic (10%) and imports from Turkey base metals (27%), machines and electrical and mechanical machinery (11%), transport products (9%) and even fresh agricultural produce (7%). According to the Foreign Trade Administration, the balance of trade is inclined towards Turkish exports to Israel, which stood at $5.7 billion, while Israeli exports to Turkey amounted to $2 billion.

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