Turkey Regional Trade Agreements

This page lists the free trade agreements signed by Turkey. [1] In 1995, Turkey signed a customs union with the European Union for products other than agricultural products and services. Since 2018, the EU has been Turkey`s main trading partner, with 50% of its exports and 36% of its imports. [2] In today`s world, countries tend to enter into bilateral and regional free trade agreements, given that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has achieved a high level of liberalization, WTO rules are insufficient under current conditions, and the multilateral trading system is not effective in providing better market access. As a result of this trend, some 400 free trade agreements are being notified to the WTO. Without prejudice to WTO provisions, the Turkey-EU customs union provides an important legal basis for Turkey`s free trade agreements. Within the framework of the customs union, Turkey is directing its trade policy towards the EU`s common trade policy. This harmonization concerns both autonomous regimes and preferential agreements with third countries. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey.

These agreements are part of the instruments for setting up the free trade area between the EFTA countries and Turkey. They provide for significant concessions on both sides, taking into account the respective sensitivities. Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, usually based on „fully preserved“ criteria. For trade statistics between EFTA and Turkey, see efTA`s trade statistics tool The agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex VI), including some elements of the WTO. In December 2016, the Commission proposed modernising the customs union and extending bilateral trade relations to areas such as services, public procurement and sustainable development. The Commission`s proposal was based on extensive preparatory work during 2016, including a public consultation with stakeholders, a detailed impact assessment and a study by an external consultant.