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Turkiye Boosts Exports to SCO Countries by 85% Over Five Years

Istanbul Sees Significant Economic Gains with $26.1 Billion in Exports to Shanghai Cooperation Organization Members in 2023

In a significant stride towards enhancing international trade relations, Turkiye has seen a remarkable 85% increase in exports to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries over the past five years. With growing bilateral and high-level interactions, Turkiye’s exports to these nations reached $26.1 billion last year. This week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the SCO Heads of State Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, from July 3-4, further cementing these economic ties.

The summit will see participation from state and government heads of SCO member countries, including Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, India, and Pakistan. Leaders from observer and dialogue partner nations such as Belarus, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkmenistan are also expected to attend.

Turkiye’s deepening political relations with the SCO countries, which represent nearly half of the world’s population, have translated into significant commercial and economic benefits. High-level visits have increased, with President Erdo─čan making a day trip to Russia last September and attending the 10th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Kazakhstan and the 16th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan last November.

Notable ministerial visits include Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir’s trip to China at the end of last year, followed by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alparslan Bayraktar and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s visits to China in May and June, respectively. Energy sector engagements have also intensified, with Minister Bayraktar participating in the 4th Meeting of the SCO Energy Ministers’ Council via video conference last month and visiting Russia.

Minister Fidan, after his China visit, joined the BRICS+ meeting and held bilateral talks in Russia, including a meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. The reciprocal high-level visits between Turkiye and SCO countries are expected to continue.

Transportation Projects Enhance Trade

In addition to energy agreements and projects, transportation and infrastructure initiatives linking these countries are critical to boosting trade. Key projects involve Turkiye’s participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Middle Corridor initiative connecting Turkiye to Central Asia, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway.

Moreover, the agreement for the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Railway Project, planned under the Belt and Road Initiative, was signed last month, highlighting the growing connectivity.

Exports Constitute Nearly 10% of Turkiye’s Total

Turkiye’s exports to SCO member countries, which include China, India, and Russia, all members of the G20, showed an upward trend from 2019 to 2023, except for a dip in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Exports rose from $14.1 billion in 2019 to $18.4 billion in 2021, $23 billion in 2022, and nearly $26.1 billion last year, marking an 85% increase over five years. In 2023, exports to these countries accounted for about 10% of Turkiye’s total exports.

On the import side, Turkiye’s imports from SCO countries fluctuated, dropping from $55.6 billion in 2019 to $49.6 billion in 2020, then increasing to $76 billion in 2021 and peaking at $120.2 billion in 2022, before falling to $106.3 billion last year.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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