Britain and Turkey launch talks on a new free trade deal

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 5:49 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and Turkey will formally launch negotiations on a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Thursday with a view to including services as well as goods in a new deal.

Britain already has an FTA with Turkey, which was rolled over when Britain left the European Union, but a review by both sides last year concluded there was room for improvement under a new deal.

“We already have a thriving trade relationship that will only get stronger with a new, modernised trade deal,” Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said in a statement.

Badenoch said a new deal could give Britain’s services sector “a competitive edge in this growing market and has the potential to support jobs across the UK.”

The trade ministry said the first round of negotiations with Turkey, a NATO ally, was expected to take place in the summer.

Any deal could increase access for British consumers to Turkish goods such as bulgur wheat and tomatoes, as well as provide opportunities for British firms to increase services industry exports.

Britain is currently in trade talks with the likes of India, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and South Korea. Talks on a new FTA with Canada were put on hold earlier this year after the two sides failed to agree on removing barriers for agriculture.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Hugh Lawson)