Israeli-Turkish business ties warming up: A first meeting since the start of the diplomatic crisis
between the two countries was held recently between Zvi Oren, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel,
and Muharrem Yilmaz, president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD).
The meeting was preceded by an official invitation extended by Yilmaz to Oren to visit Istanbul.
"It's amazing to see how relieved they are that they can do business with us again," Oren told Yedioth Ahronoth. "During the visit we discussed ways to strengthen business ties and Israeli tourism to Turkey."
The two decided to set up a joint steering committee, whose members will meet regularly and create a future work plan for both countries on commerce and industry issues. At the first stage, the committee will focus on cooperation in the fields of agriculture, energy and communications. The officials also agreed on sending out mutual trade delegations.
Israel's trade relations with Turkey are still among the major ties upheld by the Israeli economy. The trade volume between the two countries fell 13% in 2012 from 2011 due to the crisis between the countries. Israeli exports to Turkey went down by 23%, while imports from Turkey dropped 4%.
The volume of trade between the countries totaled some $3.5 billion in 2012, and the first few months of 2013 recorded a 13% increase in commerce compared to the same period last year.
Israeli exports to Turkey focus on chemical industry products, plastic and rubber, metals and electric equipment and machinery.