Turkey can reach Arab markets and compete with other countries through the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) by providing better-quality products, said the head of the Diyarbakir Industrial Zone Union on Friday.
“Through the KRI, we can reach other areas in Iraq and even use their commercial capabilities to each other market in the Arab world,” Aziz Odabasi, a Turkish national, told state-run Anadolu Agency.
He spoke at a forum in Diyarbakir (Amed) that was aiming to bolster economic relations with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“Thus, we will expand and diversify our market. In addition to the existing ones, we can produce better products with higher quality, and gain the appreciation of the end customer, as well as empower our competitiveness,” he claimed.
The Republic of Turkey does not share any political borders with Arab states except for the Syrian Arab Republic. Currently, Ankara and Damascus have poor bilateral relations and are backing opposite sides in a civil war. With the Federal Republic of Iraq, Turkey only shares a border with the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
Iraq-Turkey trade volume stands at around $10 billion, via the Kurdistan Region’s only official border crossing with Turkey at Ibrahim Khalil, Duhok Province — in Turkey in Silopi, Sirnak Province. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to double trade with Iraq.
“Let’s increase it to $20 billion. We want to keep it at this level or even double it. We have the power to do this. The Turkish private sector is capable of revitalizing the Iraqi economy,” he said in a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih in March.
Officials from both sides of the Ibrahim Khalil-Silopi crossing were present at the forum.