Turkiye Boosts Exports to Iraq by $790 Million in First Five Months of 2023

Presidential Visit Spurs Trade Surge, Elevating Iraq to Fifth Largest Export Market for Turkiye

In a significant economic development, Iraq emerged as the top destination for Turkish exports in the first five months of 2023, with an impressive increase of $790.3 million. This surge brought the total value of exports to Iraq to $4.4 billion, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

This remarkable growth is attributed to strengthened diplomatic and economic ties, particularly following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pivotal visit to Iraq in April. During this visit, Erdogan engaged with Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid and Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, leading to the signing of several cooperation agreements. These covered a range of sectors, including trade, tourism, education, health, security, science and technology, investment, youth, and sports, marking the beginning of a new era in bilateral relations.

One of the key outcomes of the visit was the “Joint Cooperation Memorandum on the Development Road Project,” aimed at enhancing trade routes from Iraq’s Faw Port to London via Turkiye. This project is set to offer a vital alternative to sea routes, promising faster transportation options and bolstering economic ties.

In the January-May period, Turkiye’s exports increased by 4.5% year-on-year, reaching $106.9 billion. Alongside Iraq, Romania ($704.9 million), the Netherlands ($680.6 million), the USA ($447.4 million), and Italy ($354.6 million) were also significant markets for Turkish exports.

During this period, Germany led as the top export destination with $7.6 billion, followed by the USA, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Iraq. Notably, exports to Iraq were dominated by the grains, pulses, oilseeds, and products sector, which alone accounted for $931.6 million. Other major sectors included furniture, paper, and forest products ($455.2 million), chemicals ($448.9 million), electrical and electronics ($280.4 million), and aquaculture and animal products ($267.4 million).

The bulk of these exports originated from Istanbul, contributing $1.3 billion, with significant contributions from Gaziantep ($721.2 million), Mardin ($305.3 million), Sirnak ($264.9 million), and Mersin ($254.7 million).

Turkiye’s robust export performance underscores the strategic importance of its economic relationship with Iraq, reflecting the broader regional ambitions and economic strategies championed by President Erdogan’s administration.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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