Turkey stands to lose $3 bln in trade under no-deal Brexit, says trade minister

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PHOTO: Al Jazeera

Turkey’s exports to the UK are expected to drop by up to $3 billion in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Wednesday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Pekcan said Turkey is taking measures to deal with the situation in order to minimize losses.

Addressing the 10th UK-Turkey Business Forum in İstanbul, Pekcan stressed that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, trade volume between the two countries will be affected.

“We expect that the sectors most affected will be automotives in the amount of $1.2 billion, textiles at $1.3 billion and electronic and white goods at $500 million,” Pekcan told the business forum.

The forum was organized by the Turkish-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TBCCI) in association with Turkey’s Investment Office and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).

Stressing that the UK and Turkey are capable of turning difficulties into opportunities, the minister said economic relations between the two countries will continue to thrive even after Brexit.

As of 2018 the trade volume between the two countries stood at $18.5 billion, with exports from Turkey at $11 billion and imports at $7.4 billion.

The minister said the UK is one of Turkey’s most important foreign trade partners and the second top destination for its exports.

She said the UK has signed free trade agreements (FTA) with many nations but said Turkey was unable to sign an FTA with the UK due to commitments with the EU.

Pekcan stressed that investments between the two countries have exceeded $10 billion. She, however, said the figure is too low, implying that investment needs to grow rapidly.

“We can cooperate in technology. We aim to raise high tech’s share of our exports to more than 3 percent,” she added.

She said her ministry would begin touring Turkey to inform companies on the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit.

“It seems that Brexit under a deal would be OK, but a no-deal Brexit will leave Turkish businesses in a difficult position,” Pekcan said.

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