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UK-Turkey flags

The government has launched a ‘call for input’ on the UK’s objectives for a new trade deal with Turkey.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) says it’s looking for UK companies and individuals to share their opinions and expertise on the proposed negotiating objectives, which are expected to focus heavily on services and digital.

International trade minister Nigel Huddleston will launch the call for input today (3 November), in a visit to the Newbury offices of Vodafone.

Huddleston said: “Trade deals are all about creating opportunities for businesses, growing the economy and supporting jobs – that’s why it’s so important businesses tell us what they want from them.”

He added that Turkey was a “great strategic partner” for the UK.

Talks on new deal

In July, business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch announced that the UK and Turkey had agreed to open trade talks on a new bilateral trade deal.

Talks are expected to begin in the first half of 2024.

The UK and Turkey currently have a trading agreement, signed in the 1990s, but the government is hoping to modernise the trade deal to reflect the UK’s post-Brexit priorities.

The current deal is mostly focused on the trade in goods, rather than services, something DBT is hoping to change in the upcoming negotiations.

Opinions wanted

DBT hopes that the new trade deal would contain provisions for services and digital trade, which it says would create opportunities for UK businesses and give them “a competitive edge on companies from other countries”.

According to DBT stats, trade between the two countries reached £23.5bn in 2022, making Turkey a top 20 trading partner for the UK.

In 2022, the UK exported £2.1bn in services and £6.4bn in goods to Turkey, with services rising by 54% when compared with 2021 figures.

Further, DBT expects that the Turkish import market will double by 2035.

The call for input will run from 10am on 2 November 2023 to 10am on 5 January 2024.

Interested parties can submit their opinions here.