News ID: 209492
Published: 1145 GMT February 05, 2018

Turkey's import from Iran up 59% in 2017

Turkey's import from Iran up 59% in 2017

Figures released by Turkish Statistical Institute show that Turkey's imports from Iran witnessed a growth of 59 percent and reached $7.492 billion in 2017.

However, Turkey's exports to Iran in 2017 stood at $3.259 billion indicating a 34-percent decline from the figure for 2016 which was $4.966, IRNA reported.

Iran is the 12th exporter to Turkey with a 3.2-percent share in Turkey's total imports.

According to Anadolu Agency, Turkey's imports in 2017 reached $233.792 billion from $198.618 billion in 2016 showing an increase of 17.7 percent year-on-year.

In October 2017, Iran and Turkey finalized a historic deal to trade in their local currencies instead of the euro and the dollar.

The deal was signed between the central banks of the two countries during a visit to Turkey by Iran's First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri.

It is expected to help Tehran and Ankara to triple their trade transactions to $30 billion from current $10 billion.

"Trading with local currencies is the most significant step to improving economic ties. The central banks of both countries agreed on this and they will inform other banks about how the deal will be implemented," said Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim at a joint news conference with Jahangiri.

"Trading in local currencies will be encouraged and this will contribute to making trading easier and increase the volume and diversity of bilateral trade," Yildirim added.

Iran and Turkey signed a preliminary agreement on the same front during a visit to Ankara by Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

"Based on the deal, Iran's rial and Turkey's lira can easily be converted and merchants on both sides of the border can accordingly use those currencies for trade activities," Seif told the reporters during his visit.

He underlined that this could help reduce the costs relating to the conversion as well as the transfer of currencies.

He added that the banks of the two countries can use the international payment mechanisms to convert currencies into rials and liras.

The deal allocates a credit line of five billion liras and its equivalent in Iranian rials to facilitate the opening of letters of credit by merchants on both sides of the border.

The central banks of Iran and Turkey further agreed to work together to create a switch platform to connect their banking networks thus enabling citizens to use the services of respective lenders in both countries.

The currency swap deal with Turkey is the first of its kind that the Islamic Republic has sealed in what appears to be a cornerstone of the country's strategic plans to reduce its vulnerability to US economic pressures.

Even now that the US-led sanctions against Iran have been removed, the country is still grappling with Washington's restrictions on access to the dollar which are believed to have been instrumental in keeping foreign investors away from the vast Iranian investment potentials.

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