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

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid