BUSINESS

Slide in Turkish lira has Greek exporters on edge

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Economy

Greek companies that export to Turkey are concerned that the collapse of the Turkish lira against the euro and the deterioration of consumer and business confidence in the neighboring country will affect their exports this year.

Greece currently has a trade surplus with Turkey but there are fears that this could be reversed if the Turkish economy dips into recession.

In 2017, total exports to Turkey surged 44.5 percent (20.7 percent excluding fuel), reaching 1.9 billion euros (879 million excluding fuel), with bilateral trade exceeding 2.77 billion euros, based on data from the Greek Embassy in Ankara. In the same period, imports from Turkey rose 2.6 percent, amounting to 1.4 billion euros.

“These results, which can be mostly attributed to the improvement of both countries’ economies, resulted in a significant improvement in the trade balance, with the surplus amounting to 519 million euros in total trade,” according to the Foreign Ministry’s trade department.

Based on data from the Greek Consulate’s economic and commercial affairs office in Istanbul, the largest companies with a presence in Turkey are Titan, Chipita, Grecian Magnesite, Creta Plastics, Alumil, Isomat, Palaplast, Eurodrip, Kleemann, Karelia, Intrakom, Intralot and Intell Solutions.

The main Greek export to Turkey – after oil and fuel – is cotton, which is used as raw material in the Turkish textile industry, while exports of industrial products, plastics, mechanical and electrical equipment, aluminum and copper tubes are also significant. Food products account for 5.1 to 8.5 percent of Greek exports.

Greece imports steel products, plastics, vehicles and electromechanical equipment as well as ready-made garments and furniture, while in recent years, there has been a notable rise in fish imports (from fish farming).

Overall Greek investments in the neighboring country have dwindled since 2015, when National Bank of Greece (NBG) sold Finansbank for 2.7 billion euros.

According to the Greek Foreign Ministry and Turkey’s central bank, the total amount stood at just 150 million euros at the end of 2017, from 114 million in 2016 and a whopping 4.9 billion in 2015. 

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