The UK on Tuesday signed a free trade deal with Turkey, its first one since it clinched a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union. 

The continuity agreement was signed in a virtually ceremony between British Trade Minister Liz Truss and her Turkish counterpart, Ruhsar Pekcan, and comes days before Brexit’s transitional period comes to an end and UK leaves the EU’s single market and the customs union.

“A new era begins starting in 2021, one in which both Turkey and the U.K. will win,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, announcing the plan during a meeting with his Justice and Development (AKP) party.

His words were echoed by Pekcan, who said that the deal aims at furthering the country’s trade volume, also labelling it as a “critical milestone” on the way to deepen bilateral relations on a “win-win basis.”

“Without a deal, about 75% of Turkish exports to the UK would be subject to tariffs, causing the loss of some $2.4bn; this risk is now gone,” Pekcan added, during a speech to the virtual signing ceremony.

For her part, Tuss said that the agreement is part of the government’s plan to put the UK “at the center of a network of modern agreements with dynamic economies,” citing that Britons will be able to buy high-quality products, manufactured in Turkey.

The UK is Turkey’s second-largest export market after Germany, and according to Pekcan, UK’s investments in Turkey are around $11.6 billion, while Turkey’s imports to the UK amount to $5.6 billion. 




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