UK and Turkey confirm talks on modernized FTA

Industry News | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Turkey and the UK have set out their intentions to negotiate a comprehensive FTA, with talks to begin next year.

The UK and Turkey have agreed to open negotiations on a modernized free trade agreement (FTA) that will update existing deals and bring economic benefits to both sides.

At present, there is a legacy FTA in place between the two nations that was rolled over when the UK left the EU. However, while this includes goods trade, it does not cover key areas of the UK economy such as services, digital and data. 

According to the UK government, a more comprehensive FTA will provide a further boost to an already booming bilateral trade relationship, which was worth £23.5 billion in 2022 - an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous year.

As well as better supporting UK businesses exporting to the country, a new FTA could also potentially lead to cheaper goods and more choice for UK consumers, the 
Department for Business and Trade stated.

UK business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said: "Turkey is an important trading partner for the UK and this deal is the latest example of how we are using our status as an independent trading nation post-Brexit to negotiate deals that are tailored to the UK’s economic strengths."

The UK is currently Turkey's fourth-largest export market, with key goods including vehicles, clothing and electrical machinery. In return, the UK sends £6.4 billion worth of exports to Turkey annually, including power generators and metals. 

Business groups with interests in both countries welcomed the move. President of Airbus Türkiye Simon Ward noted that the two nations have been strategic partners for 40 years, with Turkey contributing to  all Airbus programs, including the latest A350 airliner.

He added: "Greater alignment on cross-border trade will improve competitiveness and provide opportunities for businesses across numerous sectors."

The next steps will include a consultation period that will allow businesses, organizations and individuals to help shape the UK’s negotiating aims, while formal negotiations are expected to begin in 2024.