Türkiye’s goods shipments to Saudi Arabia jumped by more than a whopping 600% from January through July this year, as joint efforts to fully normalize relations strained over the recent years gain momentum.
Exports to the kingdom reached $1.25 billion (TL 33.79 billion) in the first seven months, the data compiled by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) showed on Wednesday. The figure marks a 630% year-over-year increase from nearly $172 million in the January-July period of 2022.
The rebound follows a long steep fall in shipments driven mainly by informal embargoes on Turkish goods after ties were ruptured after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.
In a sign of mending ties, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Saudi Arabia in April 2022, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman traveled to Türkiye in June last year.
In the second trip since the rapprochement, Erdoğan last month flew to Jeddah, as part of a three-country tour of the Gulf that also included Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The tour came after Erdoğan secured reelection in late May and builds on Ankara’s diplomatic efforts since 2021 to normalize strained ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Investments and funding from the Gulf have helped relieve the Turkish central bank and markets. Ankara has secured some $28 billion in currency swap deals in recent years with the UAE, Qatar, China and South Korea, most of which are believed to be in the Turkish central bank’s reserves.
In March, Saudi Arabia deposited $5 billion in Türkiye’s central bank.
Erdoğan’s Saudi stop in July saw the signing of several contracts in the fields of energy, direct investment, defense and media.
Saudi Arabia’s drone deal signed during the trip with the Turkish magnate Baykar is said to be the biggest defense and aviation export contract in the history of Türkiye. The value of the deal has not been made public but some reports put it at more than $3 billion.
In Riyadh this week, Saudi Arabia and Baykar signed a strategic agreement to localize the manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles in the kingdom.
Türkiye’s exports to the kingdom rose by 255.5% year-over-year in July alone, according to the TIM data, reaching $144.35 million, compared to just $40.61 million a year ago.
Carpet sales accounted for more than $173 million of exports in the January-July period, a major increase compared to just $4.65 million in the same period of 2022.
Chemicals and related products followed with nearly $129.1 million, while sales of cereals, pulses, oil seeds and products reached $124.6 million. Shipments of machinery and parts rose to $98.1 million, while ready-to-wear clothing and apparel exports jumped to almost $96 million.
Source: Daily Sabah
Follow our English language YouTube videos @ REAL TURKEY: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKpFJB4GFiNkhmpVZQ_d9Rg
And content at Twitter: @AtillaEng