Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade volume between Turkey and the UK was 19 billion pounds, and they maintained a strong economic relationship through a free trade agreement (FTA) to pursue trade relations outside of the European Union (EU). However, because of Brexit, a new agreement is now urgently needed to help strengthen the strategic partnership.
In the event of a no agreement, the British automotive, steel, and manufacturing industries, as well as the Turkish textile, automotive, and white goods industries, would face significant challenges. Following its exit from the EU, the UK has started rebuilding its trade relations with the rest of the world. The Brexit agreement with the EU includes the continuation of free trade, whereas the UK must develop its foreign trade strategy from the ground up.
A tight relationship with Turkey is important for the UK because the former is an important market and production place. Moreover, the relationship is a trade bridge between the Western and the Eastern countries. Some British companies operate in Turkey’s neighboring countries, and many others develop their trade relations with Turkish corporations. On the other hand, Turkey exports an important amount of automotive semi-products and white goods to the UK and receives technological knowledge and strategic industrial inputs.
Regarding other industries, Britain has an institute to influence the technology development in Turkey, and there is a close collaboration between the two countries' universities on some scientific projects, not to mention an exchange program for academicians and students. The European country is the gate for Turkey's opening to new technologies in the Western world. Because British universities are among the most successful universities globally, this collaboration is valuable for Turkey.
Turkey and the UK also had mutual benefits from FTA, ensuring trade relations, protecting essential industries, and helping companies with tax advantage. After Brexit, the two countries need to maintain and foster their strategic partnership through a trade deal. Countries with FTAs have enormous potential for building trade, economic, social, and educational ties, portraying the significance of these agreements.
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