Coronavirus outbreak hits Turkish business sectors hard

Asian tourists wearing protective masks as they walks in Istiklal street in Istanbul , on January 31, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 10 March 2020

Coronavirus outbreak hits Turkish business sectors hard

  • Turkey has had to close border crossings with its eastern neighbor Iran, which has been hit hard by the outbreak, a move that undermined not only the bilateral trade that represents only 1.6 percent of Turkey’s foreign trade volume

ANKARA: The global impact of the coronavirus outbreak has dealt a blow to the Turkish economy, especially in the tourism, trade and marble sectors, despite the deadly and fast-spreading virus not even officially being confirmed as having been detected in the country so far.
Turkey has a trade volume of $21 billion with China, while transportation costs have risen significantly because of logistics blockages and production delays after the coronavirus epidemic.
Turkey has had to close border crossings with its eastern neighbor Iran, which has been hit hard by the outbreak, a move that undermined not only the bilateral trade that represents only 1.6 percent of Turkey’s foreign trade volume, but also the tourism sector, with almost 2 million Iranian visitors to Turkey annually.
On March 2, Turkey’s health minister also warned there may be infected individuals in the country, although there has been no official confirmation of any cases up to now.
The World Health Organization recently canceled a high-level and multinational consultation conference in Istanbul between March 10-12 as a precaution.

HIGHLIGHT

Turkey has had to close border crossings with its eastern neighbor Iran, which has been hit hard by the outbreak.

In the meantime, various Turkish companies active in the marble sector are facing the threat of bankruptcy. Up until the virus outbreak, Turkish exporters were selling about 5 million tons of marble blocks to China, making it the top importer.
An annual natural stone fair in China, due for March 16-19, has bee canceled, setting orders back months.
The sectoral loss is expected to amount to around $450 million this year, because China and Italy — another coronavirus afflicted country — were the biggest buyers of Turkish marble.

 


Egypt condemns latest Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia

A ballistic missile is seen after it was fired toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh from an undisclosed location in Yemen, in this handout photo released December 19, 2017 by the Houthi movement's War Media. (REUTERS)
Updated 1 min 34 sec ago

Egypt condemns latest Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia

  • Foreign ministry expresses solidarity with Kingdom ‘as it faces assaults that target its civilians.’

CAIRO: The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday strongly condemned an attack on Saudi Arabia by Yemeni Houthi militias.

That morning, the Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed four missiles and seven bomb-laden drones. According to a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency, the drones were launched from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, at targets in the Kingdom.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia “as it faces these assaults that target its civilians.” It also pledged its full support for any defensive measures authorities in the Kingdom take to ensure the country remains safe from terrorism.

The ministry reiterated Egypt’s full support for all efforts to restore peace and stability in Yemen. It said attacks such as the latest on Saudi Arabia will result in an escalation of instability, and called for a ceasefire so that the dispute can be resolved peacefully.

It stressed the importance of engaging in a political process to find a solution that respects the Gulf Cooperation Council and UN Security Council resolution 2216. This confirms Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as Yemen’s internationally-recognized president and calls for the Houthis to return control the country’s capital, Sanaa, which was captured in 2014. The resolution also calls for the Houthis to stop using Yemen as a base from which to attack neighboring countries.

The Houthis took control of the nation in Sep. 2014. Saudi Arabia has been leading the Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen since 2015. It includes a number of other Arab nations, including the UAE, Kuwait and Egypt.