What does the Silk Road Project mean for Turkish World?
Silk Road Project was offered by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2003. The Project is defined as the economic move of China towards West through land and sea. In fact, this project is not new. Throughout history, these two routes, known as a Silk Road (China) and The Spice Road (India), have either changed routes or some have been interrupted because of various events in history. China’s aim is that this trade route is reinvigorated in a modern sense. Sea route part of the Silk Road Project is currently beside the point. Primary concern, which is our interest, is road transport part of the project. This trade road, which is extended from Beijing to London, passes through the geography, which is involved vast majority of the Turkish World. China has invited all countries on this route to take part of this project. In relation to that, various countries signed the agreement. Turkey is located at the critical point of this route. For instance, it is foreseen that goods from China will arrive in Europa in 15 days by using Bakü-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
Authorities estimate that economic power is passing from the west to east as it is in history and that it is going to grow even further in the future. Probably, this transition will come true in China and this Silk Road Project creates the infrastructure of this transition. Well, what is the role and position of the Turkish World? How will the Turkish World be affected from this project? As said above, geographically, the Turkish World is a large part of this route. The leaders of these countries are signing the infrastructure agreement between China and themselves to put the project into effect. So, there isn’t major obstacle about infrastructure. However, the real issue is how Turkish World will contribute the traffic of goods that will occur on this route. In other words, how much they can produce and export. Otherwise, this trade road will just accelerate the importation of imported product from China. For this reason, Turkic Republics should make a move concertedly to ramp up trade between each other. According to data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUİK), the 11-month foreign trade volume of Turkey has made with Turkic Republics until December 4, 2017 is as follows;
The total trade volume of 5 countries is two times less than the trade volume between Turkey and France. As a result of this, Turkic Republics should come a long way about foreign trade.