Turkish-Iranian Trade Disappoints Big Time

By Mehmet Cetingulec for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.

Turkey and Iran have maintained cooperation in regional affairs in recent years, including most notably joint efforts for a settlement in Syria but also solidarity against US and Israeli policies in the Middle East. Earlier this month, Turkey’s interior minister even raised the prospect of a joint operation against Kurdish militants.

The political solidarity has been widely expected to strengthen bilateral trade, with a number of steps taken to that effect. In 2015, a preferential trade agreement between the two neighbors lowered tariffs on 125 industrial and 142 agricultural products. Two years later, a swap agreement took effect to allow the use of national currencies in bilateral trade.

When introducing the preferential trade agreement, the two countries had set a target to boost the volume of bilateral trade to $35 billion. Four years on, the result is a disappointment in full measure. In 2018, bilateral trade was worth $9.3 billion, the lowest level over the past nine years.

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(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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