Turkish business groups call for Saudi action to resolve trade problems

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's leading corporate groups on Saturday urged Saudi Arabia to take steps to improve trade relations as Turkish companies face growing problems doing business with the Gulf Arab state.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been arguing for several years over foreign policy and attitudes towards Islamist factions. The murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 escalated tensions sharply.
For more than a year, some Saudi and Turkish traders have speculated that Saudi Arabia is forcing an informal boycott of imports from Turkey.
"Any official or unofficial initiative to block trade between the two countries will have a negative impact on our trade relations and adversely affect the economies of both countries," eight Turkish business groups, including textile exporters and contractors, said in a statement on Saturday.
The Saudi government's media bureau said the authorities had not placed any restrictions on Turkish goods.
Last week, Ajlan al-Ajlan, the head of Saudi Arabia's non-state chambers of commerce, called for a boycott of Turkish products in response to what he described as ongoing hostility from Turkey.
"We deeply regret the discriminatory treatment of our companies in Saudi Arabia ... We expect the Saudi authorities to take concrete initiatives to solve the problems," the corporate groups, including the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), told the gathering of exporters, belonged to TIM and the Chambers and Commodity Exchange Union (TOBB).

(Reporting by Nevzat Devranoglu; writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; editing by Ros Russell)

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