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‘Turkey loses $3bn in trade under no-deal Brexit’

Trade Minister of Turkey, Ruhsar Pekcan makes a speech as she attends the launching meeting of 'Turkey's Export Master Plan' held at Swiss Hotel The Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 August 2019. [Şebnem Coşkun - Anadolu Agency]
Trade Minister of Turkey, Ruhsar Pekcan makes a speech as she attends the launching meeting of 'Turkey's Export Master Plan' held at Swiss Hotel The Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 August 2019. [Şebnem Coşkun - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s exports to the UK are expected to drop by $2.4-3 billion, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said on Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

She said her country is taking measures to face the situation in order to minimize losses.

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

“We expect that the most affected sectors will be automotive by a trade loss worth up to $1.2 billion, textile with $1.3 billion and electronic and white goods by $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 Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).

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

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

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

She said the UK has signed free trade agreements (FTA) with many nations.

But expressed inability of Turkey to sign an FTA, due to international commitments with the EU.

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

“We can cooperate in technology, such as in information technology, software, block chain, big data and artificial intelligence. We aim to raise share of high technology in our exports to over 3%,” she added.

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

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

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