Türkiye, UK to hold talks to update free trade agreement Existing deal, signed after Brexit, does not cover key areas like services, digital, says UK’s Department for Business and Trade


Türkiye and the UK have agreed to hold talks on a new and modernized free trade agreement (FTA), the British government announced on Tuesday.

The existing FTA, which the two countries signed after the UK left the EU, does not cover key areas such as services, digital, and data, the UK’s Department for Business and Trade revealed.

It added that the new deal was expected to boost bilateral trade and help British firms maximize opportunities.

The announcement came after phone calls between the UK’s Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Turkish Trade Minister Omer Bolat last week.

The UK-Türkiye Joint Committee will gather in the Turkish capital Ankara later on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

Badenoch said in a statement that Türkiye is an important trading partner of the UK.

Türkiye presents “huge opportunities for British businesses, with UK companies already exporting to its growing market of 85 million people,” he added.

Britain’s Ambassador to Türkiye Jill Morris revealed a video message on Tuesday that a new strengthened and modern FTA would enhance the bilateral trading relationship.

“I am looking forward to further collaboration and discussions in our bilateral partnership to boost prosperity in both UK and Türkiye,” she added.

The Turkish Trade Ministry, for its part, said that the current trade agreement, signed in December 2020, predominantly covers industrial goods and has provided continuity to businesses and safeguarding of supply chains following Brexit.

In a statement, the ministry said: “A review clause included in the current agreement committed the UK and Türkiye to reviewing the trade relationship.

“This work began last year with both partners concluding that there would be value in broadening and deepening the trade relationship.”

It is “more important than ever” to support an open trading environment based on global trading rules that “underpin mutual growth and prosperity,” the ministry said.

“There is an opportunity to work towards a contemporary agreement that is fit for the 21st century and better suited to the modern economies of both the UK and Türkiye,” it added.

By updating the FTA, the two countries aim to provide additional market opportunities for exporters of goods and services, Omer Bolat, the Turkish trade minister, said on Twitter