Turkey’s trade ties with the U.K. will grow stronger after Brexit, said the head of the Turkish Presidency’s Investment Office on Tuesday.
Stressing the importance of strong economic ties between Turkey and Britain, Ermut said: “Turkey is evaluating all the possible consequences and acting under a scenario where economic and trade relations grow stronger.”
Remzi Gur, chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEIK) Turkey-UK Business Council, said that some 3,000 British businesses are actively operating in Turkey, as the U.K. is among the leading investors in the country.
Gur told Anadolu Agency that mutual business and investment opportunities should be explored, and added: “Turkey is ready to take all sorts of political and economic steps on this issue.”
“The two countries have decided to collaborate on issues such as defense and space. Both countries have joint construction and infrastructure projects in line with their common interests in third countries,” Gur said.
The U.K. is among the 17 countries in Turkey’s Export Master Plan, meaning a target for growing foreign trade and exports.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the bilateral trade volume reached $18.8 billion as of 2018, with $11.2 billion in exports and $7.4 billion in imports.
The U.K. is the second-largest destination for Turkish exports, with a 15.7% rise in exports to the country from 2017. Imports were also up 13.7%.
But Ruhsar Pekcan, Turkey’s trade minister, has warned that if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal -- a no-deal Brexit -- trade between Turkey and the U.K. could drop by as much as $3 billion.
The U.K. is currently scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31, but turmoil in the British government has raised the prospect of another postponement of the divorce date.
By Aysenur Saglam