Turkey’s exports have accelerated significantly, said Mehmet Büyükekşi, president of the Turkish Exporters’ Agency, attributing the increase to Turkey's agreeing visa exemption deals with more than 21 countries over the past decade.
According to Büyükekşi visa free deals with Libya, Albania, Jordan and Kosovo in 2009, raised total foreign trade volume with those four countries to $4 billion in 2010, up from $3 billion in 2009.
Turkey signed the agreements for the regular passport holders with Russia, Lebanon and Serbia in 2010.
"Visas constitute not only a technical barrier but also a psychological obstacle for foreign trade," said Mehmet Büyükekşi. He added that the Turkish exporters wanted to open up to the world so they needed to have visa-free access to the markets they wanted to be in.
“We export to 242 countries and customs areas around the world. Thanks to the visa exemption agreements with many countries, we are fast approaching our 2023 targets for exports, which is $500 billion,” said Büyükekşi.
Turkey signed one new visa exemption agreement in 2004, 2006 and 2008, five in 2009, 3 in 2010, 3 in 2011 and 7 in 2012. Thanks to this, what can only be called a rash of visa-exemption deals Turkish trade is soaring and the budget deficit -- one of the few remaining obstacles to Turkey's economic peace and harmony -- is rapidly closing.