Turkey-UK trade ties success story of modern times

Bilateral trade up nearly 70% in last decade, reaching all-time high of almost $26B in 2019, says UK trade envoy to Turkey

The commercial relationship between Turkey and the UK is a real modern-day success story, with bilateral trade up almost 70% in the last decade, seeing an all-time high of almost £19 billion ($26 billion) in 2019, according to Robin Janvrin, the UK’s trade envoy in Turkey.

He told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that the economic consequences of the pandemic have slightly dampened the figures, though most of the bilateral trade has remained resilient.

“We are optimistic the positive trajectory will continue as we pull through this global crisis,” he said, adding that the UK-Turkey free trade pact signed late last year paves the way for a new, more ambitious deal with Turkey in the near future.

Calling the deal tremendously important for both countries, he said it is the single largest trade deal Turkey has signed with another country.

He said the UK is Turkey’s second-largest export market, accounting for almost £11 billion of goods imported by the UK, while British companies export almost £8 billion in goods to Turkey.

Beneficial relations

“However, our commercial collaboration is worth far more than the sum total of its parts, through the value our companies add via the complex and beneficial supply chains that have developed through years of partnerships,” Janvrin explained.

One such example is the important automotive supply chain protected by this agreement, he said.

“Ford employs 7,500 people in the UK and around 12,500 people in Turkey, facilitating the export of car parts from Dagenham to the northwestern Kocaeli province, where the Ford Transit range of vehicles is assembled, a third of which are then exported to the UK, and two-thirds across the European continent.”

Underlining that the two countries have worked closely together over the last few years to lock in tariff-free trading arrangements, he stressed zero tariffs continued for Turkish businesses in key sectors such as in automotive and textiles.

Under the new trade pact, tariffs applied to the UK imports of washing machines and televisions will also remain at 0% for Turkish exporters, compared to up to 2% and 14% respectively under the World Trade Organization terms.

This means, he added, Turkish businesses and consumers can have access to the UK’s world-class technology, metals, pharmaceuticals, and cars without facing tariff barriers.

Anadolu Agency

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