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Turkey, Saudi Arabia seek to boost trade to $30 billion

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Turkey and Saudi Arabia aim to increase their trade volume to $30 billion in the medium and long term, according to Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the Middle East Monitor news website reported.

In a speech delivered Monday during a Turkish-Saudi roundtable in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Hisarcıklıoğlu said significant growth in trade between Turkey and Saudi Arabia is expected by the end of this year.

He said that thanks to the current momentum in relations between the two countries, Ankara expects trade to rise to $10 billion in the first phase and $30 billion in the medium and long term.

Hisarcıklıoğlu added that Turkish companies are ready to participate in projects in the fields of technology, tourism, transportation and energy that will be implemented in the kingdom within the framework of Vision 2030.

Vision 2030 is Saudi Arabia’s ambitious project aimed at diversifying its economy away from oil, improving the quality of life for its nearly 40 million residents and maintaining its global influence.

Spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the plan includes multiple “gigaprojects” such as Neom, a planned $1 trillion megacity running on 100 percent renewable energy.

With just seven years left in its timeline, the kingdom is under pressure to meet its goals, which include boosting non-oil exports and female workforce participation.

Hisarcıklıoğlu also praised the longstanding and strong trade and economic relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, expressing Ankara’s desire to deepen and diversify these ties.

Saudi Arabia’s minister of industry and mineral resources, Bandar Bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef, attended the roundtable along with businessmen from both countries.

According to The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), in 2021 trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey showed a significant imbalance, with Saudi exports to Turkey totaling $3.49 billion, while Turkey exported goods worth $274 million to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia primarily exported propylene polymers, ethylene polymers and acyclic alcohols, seeing a 4 percent annualized increase in exports to Turkey over the last 26 years. Conversely, Turkey’s exports to Saudi Arabia, which include refined petroleum, electrical transformers and iron pipe fittings, have decreased at an annualized rate of 2.99 percent since 1995. Neither country exported services to the other in 2021.

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