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Turkey ready to offer customs privileges to Azerbaijan

Wednesday, February 22
Turkey is ready to exempt importers of products manufactured in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan from paying customs duties, Turkey’s Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Faruk Celik said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

He said that in order to meet the needs of Turkey’s eastern provinces in food products, certain goods can be imported from neighboring countries as part of border trade.

"At the same time, Turkey must act in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organization," the minister noted.

In 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkey adopted a resolution on regulation of border trade, according to which goods will be imported within the set limit from Nakhchivan to Turkey’s border provinces, Celik said.

"In connection with this resolution, zero rate of customs duty will be introduced for goods imported from Nakhchivan. Nakhchivan is a nexus between Turkey and Azerbaijan. It has strategic importance because of its location," the Turkish minister said.

Azerbaijani Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev has earlier told Trend that Azerbaijan is negotiating with Turkey for granting customs privileges to exporters of products manufactured in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

"As you know, the customs duties for imported products are very high in Turkey, in particular, for the import of agriculture products, which is aimed at protecting the domestic market," said Babayev. "We are holding negotiations to expand the export of Azerbaijani products to Turkey, and in this context, we want to obtain customs privileges for the supply of goods, produced in Nakhchivan, to Turkey."

Turkey was Azerbaijan’s main trade partner in 2016. Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $2.3 billion in 2016, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.

About $1.13 billion of this accounted for exports and $1.18 billion for imports. (