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EghtesadOnline: Iran and Turkey registered $2.83 billion in bilateral trade during the first eight months of 2021, 74.09% higher than the same period of last year, latest data by Turkish Statistical Institute say.

Iran exported goods worth $1.43 billion during the eight months to its northwestern neighbor, up 135.76% year-on-year.

Imports grew by 37.49% from $1.02 billion to $1.4 billion.

Iran and Turkey exchanged $409.97 million worth of goods in August 2021, 67.45% higher than the same period of last year.

Iranian exports to Turkey accounted for $212.36 million of the monthly figure, up 118.8% YOY.  

Turkey’s exports to Iran stood at $197.09 million in August, up 33.65% year-on-year.

Monthly trade between Iran and Turkey fell below $300 million in September 2020, mostly due to a fall in Iran's exports to the neighboring country. However, trade started to improve as of December last year, raising hopes for recovery from the impact of Covid-19 on trade between the two countries.

Bilateral trade stood at $3.43 billion in 2020, registering a decrease of 45.82% compared with 2019.

Iran exported $1.192 billion worth of goods to Turkey last year to register a 66.9% year-on-year decline. Imports from Turkey stood at $2.245 billion, down 17.97% YOY.

Turkey’s collective value of exports amounted to $169.482 billion down 6.3%. The neighbor’s total imports amounted to $219.397 billion in 2020, up 4.3%, compared with January-December 2019.

Latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Turkey was Iran’s biggest export destination in the current Iranian year’s sixth month (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) with 5.84 million tons worth $1.2 billion of shipment, registering whopping growth rates of 1,420% and 696% in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.

Turkey was followed by Iraq with 1.83 million tons worth $677 million (up 30% and 19% in weight and value respectively YOY), China with 2.51 million tons worth $668 million (up 11% in volume but down 1% in value YOY), the UAE with 807,000 tons worth $331 million (down 33% and 12% in weight and value respectively YOY) and Afghanistan with 351,000 tons worth around $144 million (down 50% and 39% in tonnage and value respectively YOY).

According to IRICA Spokesman Rouhollah Latifi, Iran’s total exports stood at 14.52 million tons worth $4.14 billion during the month under review, showing a 75% and 56% rise in volume and value respectively YOY.

Turkey was also the third biggest exporter to Iran during the month to Sept. 22 with 540,000 tons worth $641 million of shipments.

It came after the UAE with 1.48 million tons worth $1.91 billion (up 254% and 142% in weight and value respectively YOY) of exports to Iran.

China with 418,000 tons worth $1.43 billion of exports came second.

Turkey was followed by Switzerland with 371,000 tons worth $328 million and Germany with 44,000 tons worth $237 million.

Iran’s total trade, excluding crude oil exports, stood at 19.84 million tons worth $10.63 billion during the month to register a 135% and 98% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year.

Preferential Trade Agreement

Finalizing ongoing negotiations with Iran for the expansion of the bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement is a priority for Turkey, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said in May.

The trade deal came into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and negotiations have been ongoing to expand the pact by increasing the number of products traded between Turkey and Iran, the minister told the virtual 28th Turkey-Iran Economic Commission, Daily Sabah reported.

Customs cooperation was another topic up for discussion at the meeting. Within this scope, both sides agreed to an electronic data interchange protocol, to carry out a simplified customs frontier project and the mutual recognition of an Authorized Economic Operator project.

Donmez stressed that these projects will have a positive impact on foreign trade volumes by enabling easier and faster trade while eliminating bureaucratic procedures based on mutual trust.

Both sides agreed that technical teams would meet in the near future to put the plans into action.

“The sides also agreed on increasing fairs and trade delegations between Turkey and Iran to show our [Turkey’s] concrete support and the great importance attached to cooperation between private sector representatives,” he said.

The Turkish minister said support for the activities of Turkey-Iran Business Council and other private sector establishments, notably small- and medium-sized enterprises, would also continue, particularly after the pandemic.

Consequently, both sides agreed to commit to talks on developing an “action plan” between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization of Turkey and its Iranian equivalent, Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization.

Donmez concluded that the commission also addressed other areas of cooperation, including health, energy, transportation, education, environment, agriculture and forestry.

Social Security Agreement

Turkey-Iran Social Security Agreement, signed on March 24, is said to contribute to strengthening commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

Fatih Cayabatmaz from the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association told Anadolu Agency that the agreement offers important opportunities for the business world.

"The implementation of Turkey-Iran Social Security Agreement will increase the Iranian businessmen's interest in Turkey,” he said.

Noting that Iranians topped the list of foreigners establishing a company in Turkey, Cayabatmaz said, "In February, Iranians came first on the list with 75 companies. In addition to reinforcing relations, it will warm the two nations toward each other."

The official said that with the new agreement, Iranian businessmen who have founded company in Turkey need to submit documents indicating that they paid insurance in their home country for their Iranian staff, without having to pay insurance in Turkey.

"The time Iranian workers spend working in Turkey will be valid in Iran. This will reduce costs and increase the possibility of Iranian businessmen’s investment in Turkey. The same applies for Turkish businessmen operating in Iran and their personnel," he said.

Cayabatmaz noted that health insurance for an employer would be valid in the other country, allowing workers to access health services free of charge.

A previous Social Security Agreement between Turkey and Iran, signed on April 16, 2016, was approved and took effect once again by the Turkish Parliament on March 24.

With the addition of Iran, the number of countries with effective social security agreements with Turkey rose to 34.


Turkey trade