The trade volume at Turkey’s 18 free trade zones in 2020 rose 12% on an annual basis despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the country’s Trade Ministry.
The trade volume in the zones topped $22 billion (TL 155.27 billion) in 2020, versus $19.6 billion the previous year, data compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA) showed.
Half of the 18 free trade zones saw growth in trade, while the others saw declines.
The specialized free zone in Istanbul, the country’s commercial capital, saw the greatest growth, with a fivefold climb, followed by the country’s northeastern Rize and southwestern Denizli provinces with increases of 100% and 53.48%, respectively.
In terms of volume, the Aegean free zone topped the list with over $3.85 billion, followed by the Istanbul zone with $3.64 billion and the free zone in southern Mersin province with $2.52 billion.
Turkey’s free zones saw the highest trade with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and EU countries, with $9.6 billion in total last year. Of this sum, $6.4 billion consisted of trade with EU countries, up 8.34% in 2020 compared to 2019.