Import from China vs. Import from Turkey

By: Eti Dahan

It’s no secret that China and Turkey are importing powerhouses, with thousands of containers arriving from both countries every month in Israel, offering a variety of advantages such as affordable products, a rich supply of goods, organized import processes, and more. In this article, we will review the two options and examine the main differences between importing from China and importing from Turkey.

Importing from Turkey

Importing from Turkey is considered an excellent option for importers looking for quality products in a wide range of industries, especially agricultural products that Turkey is renowned for, such as tomatoes. Additionally, Turkey offers the import of textiles, electrical and electronic products, fashion, and more. Today, importing from Turkey is done on a large scale across various industries, despite the cool relations between Turkey and Israel.

Importing from China

China is considered an import powerhouse with a wide selection of industries and diverse qualities, making import processes very favorable for Israelis. It is a technologically advanced market with well-established trade and communication ties with suppliers and factories. Shipping from China is highly organized, with frequent sailings from China to worldwide destinations. However, shipping times are relatively long.

Let’s look at the differences between the two:

  1. Shipping Time and Arrival: When it comes to shipping times, Turkey and China have different transit times. Most goods from Turkey and China arrive by sea, with fewer shipments by air. Importers and distributors know that sea freight requires a large inventory, which requires relatively large funding, a large warehouse, and more, not to mention that market trends can also affect delivery times. For example, sea freight from a Turkish port usually takes only a day, while sea shipping from China takes at least a month.
  2. Factory Visits and Quality Inspection: Another significant difference is the ability to visit factories to inspect the quality of goods and be present at the location. A flight to Istanbul takes an hour and 50 minutes in each direction, making it “close to home,” while a flight to Beijing takes 10 hours or more, making Turkey more attractive in terms of proximity. An importer who wants to see and familiarize themselves with the factory in Turkey, the machines, the final product, or even the loading on the container can do so with a short flight and return even on the same day.
  3. Trade Agreements and Customs: Regarding trade agreements and customs, Turkey and China have different agreements with the State of Israel. In 1996, the Israeli government signed a free trade agreement with the Turkish government, meaning an exemption from customs duties for most products imported from Turkey to Israel. An importer who wants to import from China will have to pay customs duties on all products subject to customs duty, but the low cost of production justifies the payment of customs duties.

In summary, we have seen many advantages to consider before starting the import, both from China and Turkey. Despite Turkey’s geographical proximity, it is worth noting that the volume of imports from China is almost three times that of imports from Turkey. There are products that are only produced in China, and there are many products at various quality levels.

In the end, those looking for a quality product with a competitive price and fast delivery time will choose Turkey, while those for whom delivery time is less critical will choose China. The decision should be based on the specific preferences and needs of each importer.

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