Turkey and UK eye post-Brexit trade boom with agreements

World Faizah Kamal 12-Feb-2020
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Turkey will be one of post-Brexit Britain’s top destinations for a trade deal after the European Union and the U.S., but despite the strong bilateral desire to strike a trade pact, experts are cool on the prospects of it happening anytime soon.

The U.K. formally left the EU on January 31, 2020 but will remain in a transition period with the EU and Turkey until December 31 this year.

During the year, the U.K. will continue to be subject to trade terms set by the EU but will also be free to strike new trade deals.

Earlier this month, the Turkish Trade Ministry said Ankara and London would discuss a free trade deal through existing working groups between the two countries.

The focus will be on minimising friction on imports and exports flowing between the two countries.

“I believe that an FTA would be beneficial for both sides, undoubtedly. For Turkey, the U.K. is the biggest trading partner in Europe after Germany,” İpek Özkardeşkaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, told Anadolu Agency, using the acronym for free trade agreement.

The trade volume between Turkey and the U.K. in 2018 was $18.5 billion – second only to Germany – with Ankara exporting $11.1 billion to the U.K. and receiving $7.4 billion in imports. This was a 15.7 percent increase in exports and 13.7 percent increase in imports for Turkey in comparison to the previous year.

Turkey will not want to risk its trade surplus with the U.K. and as such it wants to be at the front of the line to strike a trade deal with Britain.