Turkish delight as exports to UK soar in three months after trade deal roll-over

Tue 6 Apr 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

Turkey UK flags

Turkey’s trade with the UK has seen a first quarter surge of almost 13% following the conclusion of a trade agreement between the two countries in December.

The Express reports sales to the UK increased by 12.7% to reach £2bn according to data compiled from the Turkish Exporters Assembly. In March alone Britain received £700m-worth of Turkish goods, a 33.1% year-on-year increase.

December deal

In December, Turkey and the United Kingdom signed a free-trade agreement to replicate existing trading terms days before Britain formally left the EU’s customs union, as reported in IOE&IT Daily Bulletin.

The UK’s trading relationship with Turkey was worth £18.6bn in 2019 with international trade secretary Liz Truss saying it was the fifth-biggest trade deal officials had negotiated.

According to the Daily Sabah, the landmark deal is Turkey’s most important trade agreement since its 1995 Customs Union with the EU.

Third-largest export market

The £700m of Turkish imports to the UK in March made it Turkey’s third-biggest market after Germany and the US.

Automotive exports to the UK were up by 20% year-on-year in the three-month period to £520m, the data showed. The electronic sector followed with £338m and ready-to-wear clothing was at £295m. Increases were also seen in sales of steel and water products.

Future ambition

Following December’s rollover deal, officials from both sides said a new and more ambitious deal was on the horizon with the current agreement to be expanded to investments and services.

Dominick Chilcott, UK ambassador to Turkey, said there was “a very bright future” for the two countries.

Turkey’s current tariff-free trade deal mainly benefits automotive, manufacturing and steel industries, but Chilcott said the “scope for growing our trade with Turkey must be there.”