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UK and Turkey open fresh trade negotiations

Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak at a Nato summit in 2023. The UK is hoping to increase services exports to Turkey Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak at a Nato summit in 2023. The UK is hoping to increase services exports to Turkey
  • Update of 1990s deal to include services
  • Bilateral trade stands at $26bn
  • Vehicles and clothing top Turkish exports

The UK and Turkey have launched fresh trade talks targeting the services sector as part of any new deal.

The two countries are planning to enhance their current trade deal, which was negotiated back in the 1990s and has remained despite the UK leaving the European Union in 2020.

Bilateral trade stood at £26 billion ($33 billion) in 2022, according to latest UK government figures.

Despite the UK being the second largest services exporter in the world, behind only the US, just 27 percent was exported to Turkey.

“The new trade deal could see a huge boost in UK services exports to Turkey,” said UK trade secretary Kemi Badenoch.

In 2022 UK goods exports to Turkey stood at £6.7 billion which included power generators and metals.

Turkey is a major supplier of goods such as vehicles, clothing and electrical machinery to the UK, which is its fourth largest goods export market.

The first round of negotiations are due to take place in the summer.

“An enhanced free trade agreement with Turkey that includes services and digital will open up new trade and investment opportunities for financial and related professional services, as well as laying the groundwork for more robust bilateral relations and a frictionless trade environment that benefits both nations,” said Nicola Watkinson, international managing director at London-based TheCityUK.

An upgraded deal could also give British consumers better access to imported Turkish goods such as nuts, bulgar wheat and tomatoes.

The UK has been in negotiations with the GCC countries over a free trade deal since June 2022, with a seventh round of talks scheduled to take place.

The UK is also in discussion with Mexico and South Korea and has signed memorandums of understanding with US states including Florida and Texas.

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