June 23, 2014

TUSKON seeks to ease impact of regional tension on trade

As internal conflicts continue to haunt some of Turkey's key export markets in the surrounding region, leading business organizations are seeking ways to minimize damage to trade.

Various business groups have recently concentrated their efforts on diversifying Turkey's export markets to help Turkish exporters minimize damage amid political chaos in neighboring countries. The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) has contributed to these efforts with a large-scale international trade and investment forum held in İstanbul over the weekend.

The 20th Turkey-World Trade Bridge, attended by businessmen from 100 countries, was held in İstanbul. (Photo: Cihan)

The 20th Turkey-World Trade Bridge, attended by businessmen from 100 countries, was held Saturday in İstanbul, where company representatives from Turkey and abroad alike discussed trade and investment opportunities. The event comes at a time when an insurgency is fomenting sectarian violence in Iraq, threatening to cut Turkey's exports to the country by as much as half. More than 500 Turkish export firms have already called off deliveries to Iraq after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured towns and blocked key transit routes into Iraq's south, where demand for Turkish products is concentrated.

“When we look at the markets in the surrounding region, the political rift between Ukraine and Russia has led to a decline in Turkey's trade with these countries. … We have seen a similar impact in Syria following the civil war there and now the tension in Iraq is causing Turkey more losses in trade,” TUSKON President Rızanur Meral said at Saturday's event.

“Today we are hosting a total of 1,000 businesspeople from 100 different countries,” Meral continued, adding that TUSKON is ready to encourage Turkish exporters to branch out into new markets.

A broad business initiative with 55,000 members, TUSKON provides extensive support to businessmen who seek to make a contribution to the national economy. A total of 1,200 Turkish company representatives participated in Saturday's event.

Published on Sunday's Zaman, 22 June 2014, Sunday