Ministers from Turkey and UK attended a conference called “6th annual Turkey-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO)” on Thursday September 13th to draw outlines of prospects in mutual trade and economic cooperation.
The event took place at the Locarno Suite in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was hosted by UK Department of International Trade. The meeting was considered to be successful one, as a memorandum of understanding (MoU), to increase economic and commercial ties between Turkey and UK, and was signed by high officials from both countries.
Turkey has been deeply involved in economic problems such as high inflation and sharp fall in value of lira currency for quite a while now, partly owing to the sanctions imposed by Trump’s administration. Despite such negativities the overall atmosphere of the JETCO event was rather positive as the country still possessed a real annual GDP growth of 7 percent and a strong service sector economy with inflation expected to stabilize around 8 percent by 2022.
At the post-signing UK-Turkey business forum, Liam Fox (UK secretary of state for international trade) stated that JETCO was the start of a richer relationship between the two states and parties targeted to diversify trade relationships for both countries. It was also stated by the secretary that Turkey had a very important geopolitical position. He went on to mention that a bilateral trade volume target of $20 billion was quite realistic, as over 200 major Turkish businesses operated in the United Kingdom. On the other hand it was also voiced by the secretary that the number of British tourists to visit Turkey was expected to reach 3 million in 2018 from 1.6 million in 2017.
Rushar Pekcan (Turkey's trade minister) said that both nations hoped to deepen cooperation after Brexit and added: "We plan to include services, agricultural products trade, e-trade, and public purchasing to make the agreement more comprehensive". Turkey’s trade minister went on to say: "We will provide special incentives to technology-based projects and companies which operate in IT, informatics and software sectors.”
Ms. Pekcan emphasized that Turkey would invite British businesses to invest in high-tech free-trade zones in the country.