- Category: Economy
- Published on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 07:08
Greece is keenly interested in Turkish economic developments, amid the brushing currency and economic crisis in the neighboring country, given that bilateral trade and cross-border ties have blossomed over recent years despite whatever political differences.
Greek exports to Turkey, for instance, reached 1.953 billion euros in 2017, significantly up from 1.351 billion euros in the previous year. Nevertheless, the biggest chunk of Greek exports to Turkey was refined fuels (1.073 billion euros), with remaining exports at 879 billion euros.
Conversely, imports from Turkey to Greece reached 1.433 billion euros in 2017, with fuels only comprising 173 million euros of the portion, leaving 1.26 billion euros in value for other imports.
With fuels included, Greece - with only negligible domestic crude oil production and wholly dependent on imported natural gas - fields a favorable trade balance with Turkey. However, if fuels are excluded, then the scale tips to Turkey's favor.
Beyond refined fuels, cotton is the main Greek export to Turkey, followed by industrial products, plastics, aluminum and steel pipes. The main Turkish exports to Greece are steel, plastics, vehicles, electro-mechanical equipment as well as clothing and furniture. Turkish fish farming exports have also significantly increased.
In terms of Greek investments in the neighboring country, the sale of NBG subsidiary Finansbank in 2015 for 2.7 billion euros to Qatari interests severely reduced the former.
A report by the Greek embassy in Ankara's trade liaison office last week noted that cement manufacturer Titan, snacks producer Chipita and miner Grecian Magnesite S.A. were the biggest Greece-based investors in the neighboring country. Greek building materials producers and cigarette manufacturers also have a noteworthy presence.
Gaming and lottery IT provider Intralot is also active in the Turkish market.
The biggest Turkish FDIs in Greece were in the tourism and marina sector (Dogus Holding S.A.), in the paper industry (Eren Holding and Pak Holding), as well as by chemicals producers.
Finally, Turkey's Ziraat Bank has branches in Athens, Komotini, Xanthi and on the island of Rhodes.
Although not mentioned in the report, hundreds of thousands of people from each country visit the other every year, accounting for billions of euros in travel remittances.