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UK to launch trade negotiations with Turkey to ‘deepen relationship’: report

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The UK is set to pursue a new trade deal with Turkey in an effort to deepen relations with the country, British online newspaper The Independent reported.

Negotiations on an updated free trade agreement are expected to begin in 2024 after the two countries announced that there was scope to improve the existing trade deal.

The current deal, which was rolled over after Brexit, is restricted to trade in goods, and UK negotiators will attempt to expand the relationship to cover digital trade and services, reflecting Britain’s status as a predominantly service economy.

Kemi Badenoch, the business and trade secretary, said: “Turkey is an important trading partner for the UK, and this deal is the latest example of how we are using our status as an independent trading nation post-Brexit to negotiate deals that are tailored to the UK’s economic strengths.

“I look forward to using the deal to deepen the UK-Turkey trading relationship, drive economic growth and support businesses up and down the country.”

UK negotiators’ objectives are still to be determined following a consultation expected to begin in the autumn but are likely to focus on expanding access to Turkey for UK services.

There could also be scope for securing cheaper imports from Turkey, particularly of Mediterranean fruit and vegetables and products such as olive oil.

Exports minister Lord Offord will visit Turkey later in July to discuss other potential opportunities.

Turkish exports to the UK include vehicles, clothes and electric machinery, while the UK sells power generators and metals to Turkey.

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