By Eda Fatma Topcu
Turkey by itself, can help expand economic growth in the European Union, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Tuesday.
“An updated Turkey-EU Customs Union agreement is most important for us,” he said at a fast-breaking, or iftar, dinner held by the Foreign Economic Relations Board. “Our export trade with the EU is 49 percent, import 40 percent, 44 percent of foreign trade in total.”
Zeybekci said Turkey has free-trade agreements with 23 countries with active foreign trade policies and Ankara would terminate agreement with five countries this year.
“Our goal is to take formal action for the Customs Union update by the end of this year. Both sides are working on extending the deal’s scope. The EU commission voted for authority from the EU council, the process is ongoing in European parliament. It will be a win-win situation for both sides”, Zeybekci said.
Zeybekci will meet his counterpart in Brussels on Friday to address the situation.
He also stressed that a free-trade agreement with the U.K. would commence on the same day as Brexit and because Turkey has been the first country the U.K. has started negotiations with, the two countries would meet “on common ground”.