By Ergin Garip
ISTANBUL (AA) – In the aftermath of the novel coronavirus pandemic, trade relations between Turkey and Israel will improve, leading to an increase in trade volume between the two countries, the head of the Turkey-Israel Business Council said Friday.
"Israeli producers and importers have had to search for alternatives after the COVID-19 crisis with China," said Ibrahim Sinan Ak, adding that many Israeli businesses had turned to Turkey with its "geographical proximity and reasonable prices for compared to product quality."
Israel's exports to Turkey fell by 24% in the first quarter of the year compared to the previous year, while its imports rose by 3%, noted Ak.
He stressed that during this period, Turkey's tobacco, beverages and drinks exports to Israel saw a 31% increase.
Exports of cement, asbestos, plaster, ceramic and glass products also rose by 22%, he said.
"Since medical supplies and food products could not be transported to Israel from any other country than Turkey," these goods being brought to the country with Turkey's help and approval.
He added that in doing so, the two countries' geographical closeness helped bring the most urgent products that needed to be stocked up on in a short time.
"On the other hand, the construction sector in Israel never stopped during the pandemic, leading to a rise in Israel's imports of materials needed for construction," he explained.
So many importers who used to trade with Europe are now headed to Turkey, Ak said.
He underlined that Turkey could strengthen its position in the supply chain by taking advantage of its location.
*Written by Aysu Bicer in Ankara