Zim Ship 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Exporters of refined petroleum products and chemicals are most vulnerable to damage from Turkey’s decision to suspend trade relations with Israel, the Israel Export Institute said Tuesday.
In 2010 the two industries accounted for around 10 percent of Israeli exports to Turkey, a share which grew to some 14% in the first half of this year.
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Export Institute Director Avi Hefetz said Tuesday that his organization is tracking developments and examining the impact Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s declaration will have on Israel exporters.
“From conversations with exporters, it has arisen that Turkish businesspeople are interested in continuing trade relations with Israel and recognize the importance of those relations to Turkey’s economy. I hope these circumstances don’t cause any damage to Israeli exporters. Turkey also has an interest in good trade relations with Israel,” Hefetz said in a press statement.
Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce President Uriel Lynn made
similar comments, saying, “The relations between the Israeli and Turkish
business communities are excellent and are based on solid foundations.”
He called on both governments to take steps to halt what he called a
“dangerous escalation,” adding that it was not important which side
makes the first move.
Manufacturers Association Director of Foreign Trade Dan Katarivas told
The Jerusalem Post
that the damage to exporters would not be as great as
is being reported in some media, given that the Turkish ban is
restricted only to military products and to trade at a governmental
Defense-related trade has shrunk over the past few years, while other
trade has risen, he said. “In the course of the Marmara
episode and the global [financial] crisis, we see that trade between
Israel and Turkey has continued to grow. What this shows is that these
two economies are a very good example of what is called complementary
economies, which means that they know what to look for from us and we
know what to look for from them.”
He added that in the past few months he has seen a maturation in both
business sectors “who know how to differentiate between politics and the
“We estimate that very few [exporters] will be influenced by the political tensions.
There is no doubt that it is easier to do business with a country with
which there is a positive political atmosphere, but to our great
fortune, Israeli businesspeople know how to work with countries with
which we have poor relations, or with which relations are not always the
Turkey is Israel’s seventh-largest trading partner, according to the
Israel Export Institute. Against the backdrop of ongoing tensions
between the two countries, bilateral trade continued to grow rapidly at
the beginning of 2011, totaling $2.4 billion in the first half of the
In 2010 total bilateral trade grew to $3.1 billion, up 26% from the $2.5
billion recorded the previous year. Exports grew last year by 21% to
$1.30 billion, while imports grew by 30% to $1.80 billion.