İzlanda Ticaret Politikası Gözden Geçirme Toplantısı, Türk Delegasyonu Tarafından Yapılan Konuşmanın Metni (statement By Turkey, Trade Policy Review, Iceland) , 13.11.2012
Statement by Turkey , 13 November 2012
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
We warmly welcome the Delegation of Iceland to their 4th trade policy review.
Following the severe economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, Iceland economy is on the way to a full recovery. It has restored confidence and economic growth has been on the rise to its pre-crisis level. However, certain problems like private debts, public finances still exist as a result of the crisis and the measures taken since then.
Still, Icelandic economy has proved to have strong foundations and ongoing reforms will further facilitate the full employment levels of pre crises period.
Turkey and Iceland have very good political and economic relations. Both countries benefit from the framework Turkey-EFTA Free Trade Agreement provides and we enjoy a modest trade volume of around 40 million dollars. We have not faced with any specific problem in our bilateral trade for a long time.
For most sectors, Iceland’s trade regime is stable, open and mostly liberal with over 70% of tariff lines being duty free. However, picture is different in agriculture sector which benefits from a number of various defensive measures.
Furthermore, Iceland, as an EFTA member, has been concluding a number of bilateral and regional arrangements in a rapid manner and we are very much interested in hearing how they cope with the increased number of various and probably diversified rules arising out of such arrangements. In such an environment, transparency through the notifications may become critical to understand the ongoing changes in trade and investment regime.
We would like to commend Iceland for its fisheries management. Iceland seems to successfully maintain a delicate balance between economic benefit and environmental concerns on such a sensitive issue. Since its last review, there has been no major problem in operation of the fisheries quota system.
While the businesses are affected by the crisis, we noted with appreciation that business environment has not changed much since the last review. Further, Iceland has been strengthening its efforts to further open its market to foreign investment. This could also support their efforts to improve green energy technologies in the country.
Lastly, Mr. Chairman before concluding, we would like to express our appreciation to Iceland for their contribution to the work of WTO. They have provided leadership in a few critical areas like NAMA negotiations and the Russian Accessions. We hope that they will continue playing such a role in the future.