Jordan slaps 30 percent tariff on Turkish goods
In recent years, Turkish companies have faced more problems in MENA countries than in the past. The blockade of Qatar by Gulf countries, Iraq-Syria policy and ongoing tensions with Egypt have negatively affected Turkey’s economic ties with the Arab world. Recently, a decision by Jordan has added to the problems. The Customs Administration of the Jordanian Government announced that it has started to set tariffs on Turkish goods. According to Asharq Al Aswad, the region’s most influential publication, the existing free trade agreement between Jordan and Turkey ended on November 22, 2018. The central government in Amman made a temporary decision to continue tariff-free trade until the end of the year but last week, the Customs Department announced that the process is completed and tariffs between 15 percent to 30 percent will be applied to Turkish goods.
Majority of the trade is from Turkey
Amman and Ankara had signed a trade agreement between in 2009 which came into force on March 1, 2011. Jordan sold $72 million of goods to Turkey in the first 10 months of 2018, a 15 percent decrease compared to $85 million over the first 10 months of 2017. Turkey’s exports to Jordan in the first 10 months of 2018 was $ 637 million compared to $566 million in the same period in 2017, a 4.1 percent increase. The figures show that almost 70-80 percent of trade between the two countries consisted of products that Turkey sold to Jordan.
Turkey hurt by declining trade with Middle Eastern countries
Turkish companies have been facing a wave of obstacles in recent years in trying to establish trade bridges to the Middle East and North Africa. According to figures provided by the Turkey Exporters Assembly in 2018, Turkey sold a total of $672 million of goods to Jordan in 2017. In 2018, this figure increased 15.3 percent to $775 million.
Last year, our exports to all countries in the region except Qatar and Kuwait have declined. For example, the decline in trade with the United Arab Emirates is 37.5 percent, to Iraq 10 percent, to Iran 25.3 percent, to Lebanon 4.1 percent and to Saudi Arabia 5.5 percent. Our exports to these five countries have decreased from $18.1 billion to $ 15.1 billion, a loss of $3 billion. This makes it harder for Turkey to reach the $500 billion export target in 2023.