More to come for UK-Turkey FTA?

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The beneficial relationship between Turkey and the UK could be built upon soon.

The free trade deal between the UK and Turkey could be looked at again over the next two years to ensure it delivers maximum benefits for both nations, it has been claimed.

An historic agreement was signed at the end of December 2020 to ensure the tariff-free flow of goods and secure existing preferential tariffs for businesses.

However, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey Chris Gaunt told Hurriyet Daily News he believes it will be tweaked soon to include more sectors and provide further opportunities for traders.

"The potential for Turkey and the UK to grow their trade is still very big. And we want to create an environment whereby we can realize that potential over and above what we currently have," he commented.

In particular, Mr Gaunt highlighted pharmaceuticals, technology and agriculture as areas that might benefit from renegotiation and said he hopes to see them included in fresh talks going forward.

Ministers of both nations could meet again in as little as six months to start the process, Mr Gaunt claimed.

The Turkey-UK free trade deal did indeed include a clause permitting future amendments, with representatives of the countries committing last year to working towards something more ambitious should the chance arise.

This is something Turkey is sure to be especially eager to do, as figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute show its exports to the UK rose 28 per cent in the first six months of this year compared to 2020, while imports from Britain grew 4.5 per cent.

This means Britain is behind only Germany and Iraq in terms of the biggest markets for Turkish goods, while around 2,500 UK companies also operate in Turkey.

According to the HSBC World in 2050 report, the nation will be the world's 12th-largest economy in just 30 years' time, as well as the fourth largest in Europe.