Turkish QIZ plans in question
Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs) were established in the Middle East to contribute to permanent peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan.
The idea has spread to Turkey, but plans to set up a QIZ, in partnership with the United States and Israel, can not be realized before January 2001 - after the congressional elections in the United States. An article on the Anatolia news agency cites a report on the economic benefits of US-sponsored QIZs as established jointly by Israel and its neighbors. It appeared in a periodical published by the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat (DTM) Free Trade Zone Directorate General.
Goods authorized by the US government are manufactured in QIZs in these countries and exported to the United States free from duties, quotas and purchase taxes. The article said that the US-Israel Free Trade Zone Implementation Law, enacted in 1985, needed to be amended if QIZs are to be set up in Turkey.
Turkish officials proposed the establishment of a new QIZ in Turkey to US and Israeli officials during talks in Israel on February 7-8 and in the United States on March 27-28. At these talks, it was proposed that the Adana-Yumurtalik and Gaziantep free trade zones in Turkey be included in the QIZs.
Because the textile sector is sensitive for the United States, it was suggested that exports from sectors other than textiles be tax free in the US market. The article also said that Israel supports Turkey's inclusion.
Although the US position is also positive, Congress cannot pass the necessary amendment before January 2001, due to the forthcoming elections. The Turkish government is planning to step up talks on the Turkish QIZ following the US elections and hopes to begin operations at the end of 2001. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)