Turkey: Commercial Relations Between Turkey And Ukraine

Last Updated: 17 December 2014
Article by Bihter Bozbay and Hasan Özgür

As one of the most severely affected countries by the 2008 global crisis, Ukraine's total trade volume has significantly decreased. Turkey's trade volume with Ukraine dropped almost 50%, from USD 8.2 billion to USD 4.1 billion in 2009. However, Ukraine still plays a significant role in Turkey's international trade. Ukraine ranked 14th among Turkey's most preferred import destinations in 2013. In the same year, the ratio of Turkey's imports from Ukraine was approximately 1.8% of its total import. According to the Turkish Statistics Institute, imports from Ukraine reached USD 4.5 billion in 2013. The largest import category is iron & steel products. Despite the 2008 global crisis, exports to Ukraine increased by approximately 120% in four years and were around USD 2.19 billion in 2013. The largest export categories are textiles and agricultural products.

Approximately 700 companies with Turkish capital are operating in Ukraine. Since the independence of Ukraine, Turkish contractors were involved in many projects, which in total deal value exceed USD 3 billion. Most Turkish investors are small and medium-sized enterprises and they mainly focus on telecommunications, food, ready-to-wear garments, forestry products, mine, metal and construction materials.

In order to encourage businesspeople to make investment, on 1 August 2012, both states officially lifted visa requirements. This facilitated a significant increase, not only in trade but also in tourism between these two countries. Upon execution of the free trade agreement, economists expect the trade volume to exceed USD 10 billion.1

In November 2014, the 3rd Joint Strategic Planning Group was summoned in order to review bilateral commercial relations and potential economic cooperation between the "strategic partners".2 Although the trade level does not reflect the exact potential of these two countries, accelerating talks for free trade agreements and further diplomatic meetings will help grow the trade volume. Below are some of the major agreements between Turkey and Ukraine:

Turkcell, Turkey's largest GSM operator, is the majority shareholder of the third largest GSM operator (LIFE) of Ukraine. Aygaz has been cooperating with Chem Oil to establish and operate an LPG export terminal in Ukraine. In the alcoholic beverages sector, Efes Pilsen has made an investment in Odessa.

Turkish construction companies have undertaken numerous projects such as the construction of the Shaktar Donetsk Stadium (ENKA); the city trade center; various five-star hotels; some major highways; the Boulevard of Victory; and various crossover road transitions. In addition, the most luxurious hotel and the tallest building of Ukraine are being constructed by Turkish construction companies. Erbek İnşaat has constructed the Yalta Yacht Harbor, Yalta Pribrejray Bristol Hotel and Adelaide Apart Hotel and carried out approximately 30 big projects in its 30 year-long presence in Ukraine.


1 Commercial Relations Between Ukraine and Turkey: Past, today and future (retrieved from: http://www.bloomberght.com/yorum/cem-sezgin/1522495-ukrayna-turkiye-ticari-iliskileri-dun-bugun-ve-yarin )

© Kolcuoğlu Demirkan Koçaklı Attorneys at Law 2014

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Bihter Bozbay
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