Against WTO rules

Greece accuses Turkey of subsidising fruit exporters

Georgios Frangistas, the president of the Association of Greek fruit, vegetable and juice exporters Incofruit, and the marketing director of the Greek fruit export company, Gefra, has accused Turkey of breaking World Trade Organisation rules by subsidising exports, including those of fruits. 

According to him, for this reason Turkish producers may be in a better position in the Russian market - if, of course, the old trade routes open again. It is difficult to discuss the political side of Russian and Turkish relations: "Now there is some noticeable diplomatic activity between them, but it is difficult to say how it will affect trade. However, if the relationship improves and trade resumes, then Turkey will have a definite advantage over producers in the EU. There are two reasons for this. The first is the exchange rate, because the two countries are oriented to the dollar for foreign trade rather than the Euro. But there is another reason: Turkey is subsidising its exporters which is against WTO rules. And the producers of the European Union are not (subsidised)," said Frangistas.

Before the Russian food embargo came into being, Greece exported mainly strawberries, kiwi fruit and stonefruit. After it, the official business curled. A number of companies on both sides have tried to circumvent the barriers, altering invoices and (or) transporting goods through third countries. "We can assume that some of the goods reached Russia, but a significant trade cannot be maintained in such circumstances," said the businessman.

If the embargo is lifted, it will be difficult for Greek producers to regain their share of the market because Russian traders have found new partners in different countries. ''So there is little hope of immediately regaining a foothold in the Russian market. First the embargo should be lifted, then it will take several years to recover the place in the market. Then plans can be made for the future," concluded Frangistas.


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