Business council head urges more Turkey, Egypt trade

Business council head urges more Turkey, Egypt trade

For Turkey, Egypt is door to Africa and for Egypt, Turkey is door to Europe: Turkey-Egypt Business Council head Toprak

By Dilara Zengin

ANKARA (AA) - Economic relations between Turkey and Egypt should be above politics, according to Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Egypt Business Council head Muhammet Mesut Toprak on Wednesday.

Toprak told Anadolu Agency Turkish companies have almost $2-billion worth of investments in Egypt.

"We hope investments and cooperation between the two countries will increase as part of goodwill.

“For Turkey, Egypt opens door to Africa and for Egypt, Turkey is a door to Europe," the council head added.

He emphasized Turkey-Egypt relations should be restructured and a new page in the relations should be turned.

Egypt is marking the seventh anniversary of its Arab Spring, which began on Jan. 25, 2011, at Tahrir Square.

Trade volume between Turkey and Egypt between 2011 and 2016 went up by 1 percent to reach $4.2 billion, according to IMF data.

In 2011, when the Arab Spring began, the size of Egyptian economy was $247.7 billion. The country's gross domestic product increased by 34.2 percent to rise to $332.4 billion in 2016.

Having the third-biggest economy after Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) among Arab countries, Egypt was unable to reach its 5.1 percent growth performance that the country showed in 2010, one year before the Arab Spring.

In 2011, Egyptian economy's growth pace was 1.8 percent; this rate was up to 4.3 percent in 2016.

- Exports to Egypt $2.1B

The IMF says the country's 2017 growth is expected to be at 4.1 percent.

Egypt's inflation rate in 2011 tallied 11.1 percent in 2011; however, it went down to 10.2 percent in 2016. This figure is expected to be 23.5 percent in 2017 as well.

Populated by 96.4 million people, Egypt's unemployment rate rose to 12.7 percent in 2016. This rate was 10.4 percent in 2011.

After the Arab Spring and the coup term, the country's foreign debt increased. Egyptian Finance Ministry data shows the country's foreign debt increased by 41.7 percent as of June 2017 compared with the previous year, boosting to $79 billion from $55.8 billion.

Meanwhile, Egypt's exports in 2011 were worth $31.6 billion. Egyptian exports decreased to $22.5 billion in 2016.

The country's imports also went down between 2011 and 2016 by 7 percent and in 2016 they were worth $58.1 billion.

Egypt's foreign trade volume, which was $93.9 billion in 2011, decreased by 14 percent and became $80.6 billion in 2016.

According to Turkish Statistical Institute data, foreign debt volume between Turkey and Egypt reached $4.2 billion in 2016, increasing 1 percent. In 2011, when the Arab Spring began, this figure was $4.1 billion.

In this term, Turkey's exports to Egypt went down by 1 percent and in 2016 they decreased to $2.7 billion. However, the imports from Egypt rose to $1.4 billion by increasing 4.4 percent.

Also, Turkey's exports to Egypt in the first 11 months of 2017 tallied $2.1 billion. In the same term, imports from Egypt were worth $1.8 billion. Thus, the foreign trade volume between Turkey and Egypt was calculated at $3.9 billion during the first 11 months of 2017.

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