Turkey eyes comprehensive free trade pacts to boost exports

Free trade talks ongoing with Japan, Thailand and Indonesia in Asia-Pacific region, says trade minister

Fatma Eda Topcu   | 18.08.2021
Turkey eyes comprehensive free trade pacts to boost exports


Turkey has been building a new generation of comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs) ​​that include services, investments and public procurement in order to increase exports, strengthen the competitiveness of the industry and attract foreign capital, the country’s trade minister said Tuesday.

"Comprehensive FTA negotiations are currently ongoing with Japan, Thailand and Indonesia in the Asia-Pacific region," Mehmet Mus said in his speech at the closing session of the 34th Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Ordinary Financial General Assembly.

"While negotiations with Georgia and Moldova continue to expand the scope of FTAs, we continue FTA negotiations with Ukraine, making efforts to reach a result," he noted.

On the other hand, he added, in Latin America, opportunities for pacts with Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico have been continuing.

The government has also ramped up efforts to further develop cooperation with the US and China and to create new areas of cooperation.

- Levelling up exports to distant countries

Mus said the government has been preparing a strategy for increasing exports to far away countries, “in order to bring the geographies we call distant closer and to evaluate the commercial and economic potential of these geographies."

He said two-thirds of Turkey's exports are to countries with an average distance of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles), adding Turkey can only get a 0.26% share from the $8.2 trillion worth of imports from 17 countries far from its soil.

"We will consult with our businesspeople when it reaches a certain point, aiming to quadruple our exports to 17 countries with an average distance of 8,650 kilometers (5,375 miles)."

*Writing by Aysu Bicer

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