BY DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Türkiye’s exports to Saudi Arabia reached $420.9 million with an annual increase of 180% in the January-September period, putting the 2021 figures far behind them as the two countries continue to pursue a rapprochement in relations.
Trade was one of the areas where the tension in relations between Türkiye and Saudi Arabia was felt the most. Exports to this country decreased by 92.2% in 2021 to $186.7 million.
However, trade has been recovering this year as Ankara and Riyadh entered a normalization process in relations that reflected positively on economic ties.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went to Jeddah with his delegation on April 28-29 upon the invitation of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and held various meetings.
Afterward, the leaders of the two countries held phone calls on various occasions to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) paid an official visit to Ankara to meet with President Erdoğan on June 22, and after this visit, a comprehensive joint statement was issued for cooperation in many fields.
The declaration emphasized the determination to start a new period of cooperation in bilateral relations, including the political, economic, military and security spheres.
Within the scope of MBS’ visit, the Türkiye-Saudi Arabia business and investment roundtable meeting was held with the participation of Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Muş, his Saudi counterpart Macid bin Abdullah Al Kasabi and Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih. During the meeting, the decision was made to create a road map to facilitate trade.
The most recent high-level visit was led by Trade and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati, who met with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Sept. 24.
The effect of the mutual visits and rapprochement was reflected in exports.
In the first nine months of the year, the most exported sector was chemicals and products with $73.5 million. The increase in exports in this sector was 47%.
Carpet exports followed this sector with $44.5 million; mining products with $41 million; machinery and its parts with $32.6 million; ready-to-wear and apparel with $29.1 million and cereals, pulses, oilseeds and products with $26.6 million.
The export of the electrical and electronics sector was $21.4 million; while $15.66 million worth of furniture, paper and forestry products and $15.4 million worth of automotive industry products were exported in the said period.
In the January-September period of last year, the ship, yacht and services sector did not register any exports to Saudi Arabia, while this year the figure was $173.8 million.
The sector that increased its exports the most in the nine months of the year was the fresh fruit and vegetable sector by 742,637%. Exports in this sector increased from $2,000 to $14.8 million.
The increase in exports was 11,177% in the carpet industry; 7,064% in mining products; 1.361% in fruit and vegetable products; 1,355% in jewelry, and 1.113% in cereals, pulses, oil seeds and products.
There was a decline in only four sectors of exports to the country. Fisheries and animal products exports decreased some 77.4% while the steel sector’s exports declined by 39.6%, together forming the two sectors whose exports fell the most.