Finance Turkey’s exports to Saudi surge 627% as ties improve By Pramod Kumar August 10, 2023 SPA Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan held discussions on strengthening bilateral ties Turkey’s exports to Saudi Arabia surged by 627 percent in the first seven months of 2023 as bilateral relations improved. Exports to the kingdom hit $1.25 billion between January and July this year compared to $172 million last year, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported, citing data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month visited Saudi Arabia, where he signed energy and defence agreements and agreed on plans to boost direct investments. Saudi and Turkey strengthen energy and defence ties Saudi in pact with Turkey to localise drone production Turkey signs $50bn deals with UAE to revive economy In March, the Saudi Fund for Development deposited $5 billion in Turkey’s central bank, as the country struggled with high inflation and the impact of earthquakes in February. Saudi Arabia and Turkey’s Baykar this week signed a strategic agreement to localise drone manufacturing in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia successfully attracted 390 Turkish companies to invest in its local market, with investment reaching SAR 985.6 million ($262,8 million). Turkish companies are active in several sectors, especially construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and restaurants. Turkey’s foreign trade deficit increased by 18.7 percent to $61.2 billion in the first half of this year, with exports down by 1.9 percent compared with a 4.1 percent rise in imports. Exports from January through to June dropped to $123.3 billion, while imports climbed to $184.6 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. The country revealed a foreign trade gap of $299 million in June, excluding energy products and non-monetary gold. The country's latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) dipped to 49.9 in July from 51.5 the previous month. The 50-point index mark separates growth from contraction.