Monday, November 21, 2016

How is Turkish trade with China going?

Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, came to Turkey early last the week. According to the protocol, he first met with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister, then the Prime Minister and then he visited Presidential Palace for courtesy. In order to clarify the main objective of his official visit, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, then had a long meeting with the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources on November 14, 2016 in Ankara.

Commenting on the Chinese news agency website (, as well as in China MFA official web page (, Chinese FM Wang Yi positively assessed the development of China-Turkey relations, saying that bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, security and combating terrorism are two important areas of bilateral relations. (We understand that there are serious concerns of the Chinese side on line-by-line interpretation, on security and terrorism).

Wang Yi furthermore pointed out that China is ready to deepen cooperation in security and terrorism struggle in order to advance cooperation in economic and trade areas in line with the consensus reached between the presidents of the two countries. In the eradication of the root of terrorist forces such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (Chinese people say not to support them in diplomatic language) Ankara confirmed to continue its support to China. (China's concerns have been voiced again).

Turkish Minister said that Turkey-China relations had entered a new turn. Expressing great importance in cooperating with China, Turkish Minister stressed that Turkey will not allow any action that harms the security and stability of China and Turkey will continue to create better conditions for the development of cooperative relations in various fields. (Turkey is giving them the necessary guarantees).

We all know that there are financial difficulties of Chinese firms working in Turkey in the construction of thermal power plants. The risks posed by stopping imported coal plants due to cost over market prices, and the serious concerns of Bank of China's credibility rating for Turkey. We all understand that if China asks to be excused to pause to work in the market. The development status of thermal power plants currently under construction would be "on hold" , which may remain frozen for a while. Soured relations after the suspension of missile procurement, it was difficult to get a visa for the Turkish exporters, and they were subjected to unnecessary questioning when entering China.

According to experts of foreign trade, there is a huge imbalance in bilateral trade with China. With China in 2015, Turkey exported 2 billion US dollars, and imported 20 billion US dollars. The largest scope of Chinese export, covers the thermal power plant equipment supply by the Chinese at cheap prices. At present, the majority of domestic-imported coal-fired power plants, except for Tufanbeyli (SK Korea), are being built by Chinese suppliers at ultra cheap prices. However their quality, proper acceptance tests, compliance with the international norms and long life time expectations are questionable.


Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

This article is written for the "EurasiaReview" news web site.
Prinkipo, November 20, 2016


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