By Belgin Yakisan Mutlu
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey saw a total of $9.8 billion export to Balkans in the first nine months of 2019, a 3.7% increase compared to the same period last year, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) on Friday.
In the Balkan region, Turkey exported the most products to Romania with $2.9 billion, followed by Bulgaria with $1.8 billion, and Greece and Slovenia with $1.5 and $1.2 billion export volume, respectively, the data showed.
Turkey also saw increase of 87% in its exports to Montenegro, followed by Slovenia with 18%.
While exports to countries such as Albania, Kosovo, Serbia were on the rise, the export to North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia saw a decrease in the first nine months of 2019.
The figures indicated that Istanbul, alone, accounted for almost half of the exports to the Balkan countries with 45.6%.
The sector that exports the most to the Balkan region was the automotive industry with $2.2 billion.
The Balkans is a priority for Turkey not only from the political, economic and geographical perspectives but also due to its historical, cultural and humanitarian ties with the region.
* Writing by Aysu Bicer