Straddling Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Turkey has been an important hub for trans-continental trade throughout history. With coastlines on the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas, it shares land boundaries with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Turkish exports are well-diversified, ranging from natural resources and low value-added products such as metals, precious stones, energy, apparel, and food stuffs, to higher value goods including vehicles and machinery. Nevertheless, exports remain heavily reliant upon Europe. A large trade deficit meanwhile is driven by energy and high value-added imports. A member of the WTO, Turkey has enhanced integration through various trade agreements, including the European Free Trade Association. Moreover, Turkey is a candidate for EU membership, a signatory to an EU Customs Union Agreement, and a member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. Despite significant progress, Turkish trade is still hindered by limited financial access and cumbersome regulatory and business environments.
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