Turkiye’s 2022 Central Asian Trade Reaches Over US$12 Billion


Türkiye’s foreign trade turnover with Central Asian countries reached US$11.3 billion from January through November 2022, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. This implies an overall 2022 Turkiye-Central Asian trade turnover of about US$12.33 billion.

According to this data, Kazakhstan became Türkiye’s main trading partner among Central Asian countries in 11 months of 2022.

Türkiye’s foreign trade turnover with Central Asian region from January through November 2022:

Country Total trade turnover (USD) Exports Imports
Kazakhstan 4.7 billion 1.4 billion 3.2 billion
Uzbekistan 3.3 billion 1.7 billion 1.5 billion
Turkmenistan 1.9 billion 1 billion 865.1 million
Kyrgyzstan 953.1 million 843 million 110.1 million
Tajikistan 497.9 million 349.1 million 148.8 million

Overall, Türkiye’s exports are estimated to have reached US$252.2 billion in 2022, while the value of Turkish imports reached US$361.1 billion. Turkiye’s trade with Central Asia therefore accounts for about 2% of Turkiye’s total, leaving plenty of room for development.

Turkiye’s trade with Central Asia however has been growing and has been a key development issue during Erdogan’s time as President. Ankara’s goal is essentially two fold: increase energy supplies from Central Asia – Turkiye only produces 3% of its annual energy consumption. The second is transit and access to markets in China.

Trade with Trans-Caspian routes and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) create a possibility for Ankara to become an important hub for east-west trade. For example, the Lapis Lazuli corridor, which opened in 2018 and was funded by the Asian Development Bank, links Afghanistan to Turkey via Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Turkey also joined the BRI and after the Azerbaijani victory in the Nagorno-Karabakh War over Armenia, a project for transporting Turkmenistan’s natural gas over the Caspian Sea to Turkey is still ongoing – in addition to the proposed Zangezur Corridor, widely seen as part of Ankara’s pan-Turkic ambitions in partnership with Baku. These fundamentals means that Turkish-Central Asian trade and investment can be expected to grow for the medium-longer term.

Elsewhere, Turkiye has concluded FTAs with the European Union and a further 22 countries. The FTAs in force are with the EFTA, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Mauritius, South Korea, Malaysia, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Pakistan, Singapore, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Kosovo. Additional FTAs signed with Lebanon, Sudan, and Qatar, will come into force once ratified by the relevant parliaments.

Ankara has been conducting negotiations concerning their existing FTAs with an aim to update and deepen their scope, and has concluded negotiations with EFTA, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro and negotiations with Georgia and Malaysia should be finalized soon. Turkiye has been also actively engaged in FTA negotiations with Indonesia, Japan, Somalia, Thailand, and Ukraine, and continues its efforts to speed up its ongoing FTA negotiations with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Seychelles, Gulf Cooperation Council, and MERCOSUR. Turkiye has also launched initiatives to begin negotiations with nine countries/country blocs including the United States, Canada, India, Vietnam, Algeria, Libya, and South Africa and is also engaged in preferential trade agreement negotiations with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Uzbekistan.

Dezan Shira & Associates has partner firms in Turkiye. For assistance please contact our Middle East offices at dubai@dezshira.com

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