Turkish Delight | On Course for Promising UK-Turkey FTA

Turkey and UK FTA - Bridgehead

Our CEO, Paul McIntosh, is on his way to Istanbul (Storm Isha permitting) to attend an event hosted by the Department for Business and Trade. The session: ‘Shaping the Future | UK opportunities in AI and Deep Tech’ sees Paul joining other expert speakers to share valuable insights on formulating marketing strategies and how to find clients in the UK. This session is aimed at Turkish scale-ups and high-level companies with a view to establish a presence in the UK market.

This event serves as an opportune moment to delve into the ongoing discussions surrounding the UK and Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In July 2023, both nations announced plans to initiate talks aimed at enhancing and broadening the current trade relationship.

UK-Turkey Trade – the Current State

The total trade in goods and services (exports and imports) amounted to £26.2 billion in the four quarters leading up to the end of Q2 2023. UK exports to Turkey reached £10.1 billion, while UK imports from Turkey amounted to £16.1 billion. This covers various sectors: professional business services, transportation, financial services, travel services and Intellectual Property. Turkey accounted for 1.5% of the total UK trade. [1]

FTA Upgrade and Developments

Although the current FTA covers goods, it excludes digital and data. As part of the commitments to improve the FTA, the UK initiated a consultation period to gather feedback from UK businesses, organisations, and individuals (closed on 5 January 2024). The UK Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch’s visit to Istanbul earlier this January allowed further discussions on enhancing the UK-Turkish FTA. Investments in manufacturing, tech and transport were also addressed.

The upcoming deal is poised to replace the existing FTA, extending coverage to key areas excluded from the previous arrangement.

Opportunities in Turkey for UK Companies

The Turkish market, with its dynamic population of 85 million people, presents substantial opportunities for British businesses. Turkey serves as a gateway to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The country boasts a youthful population who are keen on development across diverse sectors. Additionally, Turkey’s participation in the Kyoto agreement on climate change opens doors for sustainable techs.

Why Turkish businesses should choose the UK

The UK, with a population of 67 million and a GDP of $3.1 trillion (2022), boasts the second-largest economy in Europe. Leading the G7 in GDP growth in 2022, the UK consistently ranks among the top 10 countries for ease of doing business. 

Access to capital, investment opportunities, and a large talent pool make the UK an attractive destination. The largest sectors in the UK are food and grocery, clothing and footwear, health and beauty, electricals, homewares, furniture and floor coverings, and DIY and garden. For further guidance on entering the UK market, read our tips here.

As discussions for an upgraded UK-Turkey FTA unfold, the opportunities for mutual economic growth and collaboration between the two nations are vast. If you want to explore entering the UK market, have an initial chat with us today.


[1] Department for Business and Trade: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65a7ddafed27ca001327b13f/turkey-trade-and-investment-factsheet-2024-01-19.pdf