Trade flows among MENA countries have increased substantially over the past decade.(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Regional trade flows among Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey have increased seven-fold from a three-year average of $4.2 billion in 2000-02 to $29.7 billion in 2008-10, according to the Turkish minister.In terms of value increase, Lebanese-Turkish trade ranked second, growing by about 11-fold, and could be boosted further once Lebanon ratifies a free trade agreement signed by both countries in 2011, Semsik said.The MENA region accounts today for roughly a third of Turkish exports compared to 10 percent a decade ago, Semsik said.More than 70 percent of the $140 billion that Turkey has attracted over the past decade come from Europe, Semsik added.Turkey will also be looking to boost trade with Iran once international economic sanctions are lifted, according to Semsik.
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