Turkiye, Egypt open new page in trade ties

Bilateral trade volume may reach $15-20B, says chairman of commercial body

Upgrading diplomatic ties between Turkiye and Egypt after a decade-long hiatus will positively impact commercial relations, said an industry expert.

Diplomatic relations between Turkiye and Egypt had been at the level of charges d’affaires since 2013.

On Tuesday, Turkiye nominated Salih Mutlu Sen as its new ambassador to Cairo, while Egypt named Amr El Hamamy as its ambassador to Ankara.

Mustafa Denizer, chairman of the Turkiye-Egypt Business Council of the Ankara-based Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), told Anadolu that political relations between the two countries have been stable for 10 years. Still, positive steps have been taken in the last one-and-a-half years.

Appointing mutual ambassadors has opened a new page in bilateral relations, Denizer said.

“Both sides encourage mutual investments. Turkish authorities also want and encourage Turkish investors, big and small,to invest in Egypt again,” he added.

Stating that Turkish people have invested approximately $1.5 billion in Egypt since 2007, Denizer said that there are 15-20 important Turkish investments in the North African nation, mainly in textiles and apparel.

He said new investments in Egypt are expected in retail, energy, household appliances and transportation sectors in the coming period and the projected investment in the 2023-2024 period may reach $500 million.

Türkiye-Egypt’s bilateral trade volume is at around $10 billion and Egypt saw a surplus for the first time due to the energy export to Turkiye, he recalled.

“If we ensure that Turkish products enter Egypt easily, we can fix the trade balance and the bilateral volume may reach $15-20 million.”

Stating that Turkish products garner great interest in Egypt thanks to quality and image, Denizer said: “As relations improve, if positive discrimination is made for Turkish products at customs and Central Bank payments, our commercial activities will increase and investment opportunities will be opened.”

Denizer further said that Egypt has duty-free trade agreements with African countries, the US and South American countries, and this situation encourages Turkish investors.

Stating that Egypt will be Turkiye’s most important export and trade partner in the future, Denizer said: “As DEIK/Turkiye-Egypt Business Council, we continue our activities with the aim of increasing commercial relations and intensifying economic ties between the two countries.”

5-year trade data

According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), exports, which were $3.3 billion in 2019, decreased to $2.95 billion in 2020.

With the effect of bilateral steps taken by the two countries in 2021, exports increased by approximately 37% compared to 2020, reaching $4.03 billion and $4.05 billion in 2022.

In the January-May period of this year, exports totaled $1.17 billion.

Imports from Egypt were $1.8 billion in 2019 and $1.6 billion in 2020.

While imports increased to $2.08 billion in 2021 and $2.33 billion in 2022, they were calculated at $1.3 billion in the first five months of this year.


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