News / Europe

Turkey-Israel Trade Unaffected by Diplomatic Spats

A prefabricated home sent by Israel is seen next to an Israeli cargo plane before being transported to the earthquake zone, at Esenboga airport in Ankara October 27, 2011.
A prefabricated home sent by Israel is seen next to an Israeli cargo plane before being transported to the earthquake zone, at Esenboga airport in Ankara October 27, 2011.
Dorian Jones

Israel was one of the first countries to answer Turkey's appeal for help after last week's deadly earthquake. It was an important gesture, as relations between the formerly close allies had hit rock bottom recently. Business between the two countries, however, has continued to boom. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul.

Turkey downplayed Israel's offer of post-quake assistance, saying Israel was just one of many nations providing aid to the country's battered southeast. Both sides have dismissed any hope of an early thaw in their icy diplomatic relationship.

But that has not affected the booming trade between the countries, according to chief economist Emre Yigit, who works for the Turkish financial trading house Global Securities.

"Overall it appears Turko-Israel trade relations have not suffered in the slightest," said Yigit.

The ongoing political fight saw Ankara expelling senior Israeli diplomats earlier this year. But the trade attaches were allowed to remain. Israel's trade attache in Istanbul, Joe Abraham, says business people have different perspectives than politicians.

"Business is a long-term effort, so it does not surprise me," said Abraham.  "Companies and people when they do business, they do business because it is [a] win-win solution. It's business people [who] are willing to do business because they need each other. Because trade between Israel and Turkey is quite complimentary."

Israel exports chemicals, agriculture products and high-tech manufacturing machinery to Turkey, while Turkey exports textiles and transport equipment to Israel.

The economy in both countries is growing, and they are a good match. According to Menashe Carmon, president of the Israel-Turkey Business Council, bilateral trade increased 35 percent last year. He said the figure could have been even higher without the current diplomatic tensions.

"Joint ventures, or new investments, or partnerships between the new markets, especially for new-comers, are not developed as expected," said Menashe.  "Because the environment is not as favorable for that, so people wait, and don't invest in a market, which is not clear."

Maintaining bilateral trade is important. Turkey is now Israel's sixth most important trading partner. Fears that the current diplomatic spat could spill over into the economic sector prompted Israel's central bank chief, Stanley Fisher, to warn of the economic consequences of such an event. Political scientist Soli Ozel says despite the fiery rhetoric from the Turkish prime minister toward Israel, pragmatism rules the day.

"Trade embargo? I doubt it, because the trade volume is almost $3 billion between the two countries," said Ozel.

Turkey's western allies, in particular Washington, are concerned about the ongoing diplomatic tensions. But the booming trade is seen as an important sign that however bitter the dispute is, it still remains under control. Israeli trade attaché Abraham says the healthy trade ties could offer hope of a rapprochement.

"I hope this will serve as [a] bridge in the future for even better trade relations and not only trade, maybe even in other areas," Abraham added.

Few observers expect a warming of relations anytime soon. But there is a commonly held belief that countries that trade with one another seldom go to war.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid