Israel’s Economy and Industry Minister announced on Tuesday that Israel will reopen its economic office in Istanbul, Turkey, on Aug. 1, after the office’s activities were drastically reduced in 2019.

The return of an Israeli economic attaché in Istanbul will affect about 1,540 Israeli companies currently exporting to the Turkish market and help strengthen their business operations within this market, the ministry said in a statement.

“Turkey is the fourth most important trading partner in the Israeli economy and the fifth most important export destination in 2021,” it added.

A free-trade agreement between Israel and Turkey went into effect on May 1, 1997. In the years following the agreement, four sessions of a joint economic committee between the countries took place, with the most recent being held in Jerusalem in July 2009.

“In light of the warming of relations between the countries, it has recently been determined that the fifth round will take place in the fall of 2022,” said the ministry.

Ohad Cohen, director of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Association, said: “Turkey is a significant foreign trade economy for Israel. Current exports to Turkey are centralized and there is great potential for their expansion. The two countries have a free trade agreement that facilitates significant access for exporters to the market. The reopening of the economic attaché for joint activity will help realize the potential inherent in cooperation, for the benefit of both countries.”

According to the Foreign Trade Administration, mutual trade of goods and business services between Israel and Turkey in 2021 stood at $7.7 billion, an increase of about 30% compared to 2020.


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