In 2013 Turkey’s Simplified Customs Corridor with Russia amassed a trade volume of $100 million dollars, by 2015 the trade volume had rose by nearly 50 percent to 142 million dollars. The rise in trade volume for this voluntary agreement signed in 2008 helps exporting companies simplify customs procedures. Due to its key position in the region Turkey stand to gain considerable revenue brokering special deals with neighboring countries.
In October of 2017, Turkey took part in the Tenth Annual Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) Meeting to discuss improve transport corridors. According to an official report, by Turkeys Dr. Ismail Cagri Ozcan, a Senior Transport Specialist at COMCEC Coordination office, transport communications was among the top six areas members needed to improve and address. The report indicated that both communications and transport innovations and improvements were necessary to improve transport, logistics and trade.
Turkey has targeted those values for mastery as it has posted the second highest export volume in its history in 2017. At nearly 160 billion in trade volume Turkey’s focus on streamlining and simplifying its transport and communication corridors has paid off handsomely. Turkey may soon post even larger gains as its customs administration streamlines its participation in its Silk Road Customs Initiative to bolster and facilitate trade between Silk Road Countries.
The First International Forum targeting a palpable Silk Road was held in 2008, and according to a release from the government of Turkey, “joint work will be conducted among Customs Administrations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia. It is important to reiterate the intention to proceed this work further for other countries intending to take part on later stages. In this context, inclusion of Customs Administration of China in the Project would be highly appreciated . . .” Since that time China has played a greater role in the Silk Road Initiative.
Apparently with increased trade comes, increased deficits can emerge. Turkey’s Trade deficit swelled by nearly 40 percent in 2017 with its major imports coming from China, Germany and Russia according to official data. Turkey continues to be a pivotal location for trade among not only Silk Road countries, but also for the European Union, African states and others. As trade increases and Turkey continues to innovate customs corridors that simplify trade, the nation may become an even greater hub for business, trade, banking and finance for the world. Increased technological gains, improved commercial and residential spaces as well as carefully brokered deals between Turkey and various international partners could transform Turkey into the innovation hub of the future.