Trade Profile: Turkey, Caught in the Middle

Sep 18, 2017 | 09:00 GMT

A bridge over the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey

Nothing symbolizes Turkey's geographic position quite like the Bosporus, the strait that divides the portion of the country that rests in Europe from the Anatolian Peninsula in Asia.


Editor's Note

Global trade is changing. The kinds of multilateral agreements that characterized the postwar years have stalled out over the past two decades, prompting countries and economic blocs to try to negotiate smaller deals with fewer partners. Nations and blocs have more leeway under this new model to negotiate the trade agreements that best suit their interests and to avoid those that don't. Now, more than ever, the future of international trade depends on a country or bloc's defensive interests, offensive interests and underlying factors of production. Our fortnightly Trade Profiles aim to break down these factors to facilitate an understanding of where global trade stands today and where it's headed.
In the ninth installment, we focus on Turkey.

Situated at the crossroads among Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey has long benefited from the robust trade networks that pass through it. Advances in technology have diminished the role Turkey's geographic position plays in its economy today, if only slightly. Nevertheless, the location that historically has made the country a hub still gives it an advantage in industries such as shipping and logistics. Turkey's position, moreover, allows it to choose its regional trade partners. Having focused on expanding its economic ties with Europe for most of its modern history, Turkey understands the limitations of its relationship with the European Union. But as it works to diversify its trade ties with partners in the east, it will have to tread lightly to avoid jeopardizing its most important export market and the one to which it is closely legally bound....

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