Trade Potential of Turkey with Asia-Pacific Countries: Evidence from Panel Gravity Model


Inonu University, FEAS, Malatya, Turkey


As a result of recent developments, global economic centre of gravity has slide to Asia-Pacific region. It is predicted that Asia-Pacific countries will take place at the first row in global trade and nearly a half of the total trade will intensify in this region at the year 2030. On the other hand, the region covers countries from different levels of development. These features of the region promise umpteen trade opportunities for countries from other parts of world. Particularly after import-substitution policies were abandoned in favor of trade integration measures since 1980s the share of foreign trade in GDP raised. Recent years have witnessed a more remarkable increase in exports. In this regard, the government started to execute the “Strategy for Developing Commercial and Economic Relations with Asia-Pacific Countries” in 2005. By this plan it was aimed to raise the market shares of Turkish firms in Asia-Pacific countries, to enhance the potential of Turkish defense industry, and to attract more investments from region’s countries which have rich capital accumulation. Thus, the issue of trade potential of Turkey with Asia-Pacific countries gains importance. In this paper we attempt to estimate trade potential for Turkey using the gravity model approach. To this end we use gravity model to first analyze the effective gravitational factors on trade flows and the coefficients thus obtained are then used to estimate the trade potential for Turkey. The results of the fixed effect model reveal that the trade volume between Turkey and Asia-Pacific countries is positively affected from economic size of the countries, while distance plays negative role on trade. The size of the countries with respect to population seems no meaningful effect. On the other hand, depending on the gravity model, our estimates of Turkey’s trade potential for Asia-Pacific countries reveal that the P. N. Guinea, Peru, Myanmar, Mexico, Laos, Brunei promise potential for expansion of trade. Our estimates indicate that Turkey’s actual trade level with rest of the countries in the sample has exceeded her trade potential. JEL Classification: C32, F15