Department for Business & Trade
Government calls on business expertise to boost trade with Turkey
- Also published by:
- Department for International Trade
The UK is seeking views from businesses and the wider public on UK negotiation objectives for a new trade agreement with Turkey.
- Government invites business to shape UK objectives for fresh trade talks with Turkey
- New, modernised trade deal could boost trade with top-20 trading partner and supports wide range of sectors including services, tech and digital
- Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston marks launch with visit to Vodafone, one of the UK’s largest investors in Turkey
The UK has today [2 November] launched a ‘Call for Input’ seeking views from businesses and the wider public on UK negotiation objectives for a new, modernised free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey.
The UK and Turkey are two major trading economies at either end of the European continent. Trade between the two countries reached £23.5 billion in 2022, making Turkey a top 20 trading partner for the UK. In 2021, around 7,500 UK VAT-registered businesses exported goods to Turkey, including well-known brands like Vodafone.
The UK and Turkey have an existing FTA which is based on outdated provisions from the 1990s negotiated when the UK was a member of the EU, and only covers goods. We are committed to negotiating a new, modernised FTA that is fit for the 21st century and covers sectors such as services, tech and digital.
The Call for Input will give businesses, organisations, and individuals the opportunity to shape the UK’s negotiating aims ahead of talks and ensure the updated trade deal is tailored to the strengths and priorities of British businesses.
International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston will launch the Call for Input on a visit to Vodafone’s Newbury headquarters. Vodafone is one of the UK’s largest investors in Turkey.
International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
“Trade deals are all about creating opportunities for businesses, growing the economy and supporting jobs – that’s why it’s so important businesses tell us what they want from them.
“Turkey is a great strategic partner and we already have a thriving trading relationship – up more than 30% in the last year alone. I’m incredibly excited to start upgrading our FTA, opening up opportunities for growth and giving British businesses better access to a market of some 85 million people.”
Turkey’s thriving tech, manufacturing, transport, and infrastructure sectors have generated a surge in demand for international expertise in recent years, presenting significant opportunities for UK companies. UK services exports to Turkey all already on the up, increasing by 54% to £2.1 billion in 2022, with key sectors including transport, financial services, architecture and audit.
A new FTA with modern provisions for services and digital trade could turbocharge this, creating opportunities for UK businesses and giving them a competitive edge on companies from other countries.
Serpil Timuray, Vodafone CEO of Europe Cluster and UK Country Representative for Turkey’s DEİK (Foreign Economic Relations Board) DTİK (World Turkish Business Council) said:
“Vodafone is a leading investor in Turkey that has taken a long-term outlook and contributed significantly to the country’s digitalisation and economic progress during the last 15 years. A new trade deal will drive greater opportunities for Vodafone and other companies who have invested in Turkey, helping to foster closer UK-Turkey relationships.”
The call for input will run from 10am on 2 November 2023 to 10am on 5 January 2024 and will be available on gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/trade-with-turkey-call-for-input.
Notes to Editors
- Turkey is a major supplier of goods to the UK, which is its 4th largest goods export market, in return for £6.4 billion of UK goods exports.
- The Call for Input follows a joint review of our existing FTA, which covers goods trade only, is based on outdated provisions from the 1990s and is not tailored to the UK’s strengths as a services superpower.
- The joint review concluded there would be value in expanding its scope under a new agreement to expand trade ties and benefit both economies.
- UK and Turkey Joint Statement can be found on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-tu3rkey-joint-statement-july-2023
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