Mr Khalid Khalifa Al Mualla United Arab Emirates ambassador to Turkey said that he is happy to see Turkey renew focus on relations with Arab countries in the Middle East especially with his own country while disagreeing with claims that boosting relations with the East means Turkey was moving away from Europe.
Mr Al Mualla emphasized that he is pretty much occupied with promoting business deals between the two countries. My job is to facilitate trade here first and foremost and I think the recent figures in that regard speak volumes.
Trade to the volume of almost USD 9 billion took place between Turkey and the Emirates in 2008 ranking the UAE the third most important trading partner for Turkey’s exports. However, the 2009 volume fell to USD 3.5 billion. This was mostly due to the drop in Turkey’s iron and steel exports to the region as construction slowed down.
Steel product exports to the UAE accounted for 12.47% share of Turkey’s total steel product exports in the January to August period of 2010 slightly up from the 12.20% share recorded in the first 8 months of 2009. Before the crisis, Turkey’s share was 38.23% in the same period of 2008.
The UAE ambassador said that the numbers are reverting back to pre-crisis levels, albeit slowly. For the first seven months of 2010, the latest available figures from the Turkish Statistics Institute show that Turkish exports to the UAE are improving on the previous year’s figures.