Officials from Israel and Turkey look to increase economic cooperation

Representatives from Israel and Turkey will meet here this week with the hopes of boosting their economic cooperation, which has already quintupled since the two countries entered into a trade agreement in 1997.

By MATTHEW KRIEGER
March 5, 2007 07:05
1 minute read.
Officials from Israel and Turkey look to increase economic cooperation

Abdullah Gul 298.88ap. (photo credit: AP)

Representatives from Israel and Turkey will meet here this week with the hopes of boosting their economic cooperation, which has already quintupled since the two countries entered into a trade agreement in 1997. The delegation of at least 30 Turkish businessmen, under the auspices of the Turkish Minister of Foreign Trade, Kursad Tuzmen, will participate in a conference organized by the Manufacturers Association of Israel, the Israel Export Institute, the union of trade offices, and the Turkish embassy in Israel. Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai will meet with Tuzmen over the course of the conference, and the two ministers are expected to sign an agreement that will standardize products shipped between the two countries as well as expedite the shipping process. Israel and Turkey did $2.1 billion worth of trade in 2006 with Israel exporting $838 million worth of products. Israeli companies mainly exported chemicals and electronic equipment, consisting mostly of cellphone accessories. The communications market in Turkey, however, is vast, worth approximately $12b., and is expected to grow over the upcoming years. Israeli cellphone companies realize the tremendous potential in the Turkish market and, therefore, are focusing their energy into getting more of their products shipped to Turkey, according to the Manufacturers Association. Additionally, Israeli companies, which manufacture medical equipment are anxious to tap into the medical market in Turkey, worth an estimated $2b. Turkey, which exported $1.27b. worth of products to Israel in 2006, is similarly looking to expand its presence in the Israeli market. Chief among Turkish exports to Israel were textiles and building materials and supplies. The agreement that is expected to be signed between Yishai and Tuzmen would allow both countries to increase their revenues from imports and exports, as well cut down on the amount of time it takes to process shipments. Also, over the course of the conference, the two sides will check on the progress of the industrial research and development agreement that was signed between Turkey and Israel a number of years ago. In addition to increasing exports to Israel, large Turkish companies are considering investments in Israel. Zorlo, the energy giant, is seeking to invest $200m. to conduct tests in Israel that research the possibility of producing electric energy from natural gas, and five large Turkish chemical companies are looking to open offices here. Among the industries that will be represented at this week's conference are medical equipment, textile, building material and military equipment manufacturers.


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