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UK Government launches trade negotiations with Turkey - What it means for the tech sector

The UK Government has launched new trade talks with Turkey, in a move which is likely to benefit British tech companies when a Free Trade Agreement is reached.

This modernized deal - a renegotiation of the existing trade deal which only covered industrial goods - will particularly focus on bolstering the services sector, which accounts for a significant portion of the UK's GDP. Turkey is one of the OECD's fastest-growing economies, there's immense potential for collaboration, especially in areas such as tech, as well as transportation, engineering, finance, and manufacturing.

The Government’s Call for Input on Trade with Turkey was released over the New Year. techUK responded to this Call for Input.

In our response, we highlighted several priorities for the UK tech sector in this negotiation. We have focused on the need for a strong digital trade chapter, emphasizing mutual recognition of electronic trade documents to enhance efficiency and reduce costs, especially for small businesses. It stresses the importance of aligning data protection standards to facilitate cross-border data flows and avoiding forced data localization.

Regarding Services Trade, we have advocated for provisions forbidding local presence requirements and emphasising the significance of mobility for professionals to stimulate services trade. Telecommunications is addressed, suggesting prioritizing access to global markets for UK firms, particularly in emerging technologies like 5G and IoT. The success of UK telecoms exports (to non-EU countries) has been due to the inclusion of specific references to business-to-business supplies within public telecommunications network definitions, enforcing non-discrimination clauses for wholesale access, granting equal rights for UK providers, removing geo-blocking restrictions, and ensuring fair cost-oriented rates. The Investment section underscores the need for fair treatment, dispute resolution mechanisms, and transparency to promote investment between the UK and Turkey. Innovation chapters, similar to those in UK-Australia and New Zealand FTAs, are recommended to support collaboration in emerging technologies like AI, Quantum, and more.

Elsewhere our response, we highlighted the importance of:

  • Protecting Intellectual Property , particularly safeguarding proprietary knowledge and ensuring the UK's high standard of IP protection.
  • Negotiating the mutual opening of procurement markets for UK and Turkish tech startups, guided by principles of non-discrimination and broad definitions.

The importance of Rules of Origin requirements in determining tariffs, especially for tech products with complex supply chains. Flexible RoO arrangements are proposed to support tech industries and foster supply chain growth.

We are following this process carefully, if members of techUK have any concerns or issues when it comes to trade and investment with Turkey, please contact

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