FTA between Turkey, Japan to boost trade

As Turkey and Japan mull free trade prospects, deputy head of a Turkish-Japanese business group says a deal will help Turkey narrow its $3.3 billion deficit gap in bilateral trade with Japan.

FTA between Turkey, Japan to boost trade

World Bulletin / News Desk

A free trade agreement (FTA) under negotiation "will help Turkey narrow its $3.3 billion trade deficit gap with Japan, Turkish-Japanese Business Council Vice President Mehmet Sami said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the proposed FTA, Sami explained that trade balance between the two countries was in favor of Japan, but the FTA to be negotiated is "expected to deepen economic relations and enrich the investment and cooperation opportunities as well as boosting bilateral trade."

Japan is the fourth biggest exporter and importer in the world. Though Japan's foreign trade volume was more than $1.7 trillion in 2012, Turkey's trade volume with Japan peaked at only $3.9 billion.

"Turkey's imports from Japan were $3.6 billion and its exports to the country remained at $331 million," he said, adding that the FTA will aid Turkey in accessing one of the richest economies in the world.

"We will sell food and textile products as we have a competitive advantage in them," Sami claimed, affirming that selling heavy industry products to Japan is not an easy task.

Out of Turkey's exports to Japan, 41.8 percent consists of food and beverages. As the fourth largest importer of food and beverages with a share of 5.7 percent of world imports, Japan has been one of the most important markets for Turkey. Turkey's main food and beverage items to Japan include fish fillets (mainly blue-fin tunas), tomatoes, pasta, olive oil, dried fruits, nuts and tobacco.

Japanese exports of vehicles, electronics and energy equipment gave it a trade surplus of about $3.3 billion with Turkey in 2012.

Turkey has a one percent share in the worldwide merchandise trade. The import share of Turkey from Japan is two percent.

Sami also said that small-medium enterprises (SME) will be given more opportunities through the FTA to export their products to Japan.

Japan and Turkey are located at the eastern and western ends of the vast Eurasian continent, but the two countries continue to forge deep ties which started at the time of the Silk Road.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his first foreign visit of 2014 to Japan as part of his South Asian tour, accompanied by ministers and businesspeople with energy deals and economic relations at the top of the agenda.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ocak 2014, 09:40