EU, Turkey to commence customs union expansion talks

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EU, Turkey to commence customs union expansion talks

Turkey is getting ready to negotiate expanding the scope of the EU Customs Union with Brussels. Amongst the topics are; agriculture, e-commerce, public procurement, trade agreements, road transport quotas and livestock obstacles.

Within the framework of the update, Turkey aims to provide access to the restrictions on public procurement in European countries without any obstacles. Thus, Turkey will gain preferential access to the public procurement market which is worth 422 billion euros.

Turkey has prepared a comprehensive file for the reorganization of the Customs Union agreement signed with the EU 21 years ago. Negotiations will be held at the level of political directors in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The topic of updating agricultural produce will revolve around discussions on the mutual development of agricultural concessions, the mutual strengthening of opportunities for the entry of basic agricultural products into the markets as well as processed agricultural products and the expansion of existing agricultural concessions, which will be supported by agricultural reforms.

Also, increasing competitiveness in the agricultural sector, while reducing agricultural sensitivities, will increase the potential to make Free Trade Agreements (FTA). Moreover, technical barriers in the trade of agricultural products will be eliminated.

In terms of e-commerce, the issues to be addressed during the meetings will reportedly expand preferential trade agreements to cover e-commerce and tertiary sectors. By including services in the Customs Union, obstacles that face service providers when entering the EU’s service market will be eliminated.

Regarding public procurement, mutual access will also be discussed. The inclusion of public procurement aims to provide full access to the tender held in EU member states to Turkey without any restriction or hindrance. Thus, it will give Turkey preferential access to the EU public procurement market, which has a size of 422.8 billion euros.

Moreover, the update of the Customs Union will enable the transportation of export products in the most appropriate ways to the EU market by eliminating obstacles that generate additional costs for exporters such as road transport quotas between Turkey and the EU.

Revised talks are expected to focus on lifting hurdles in livestock breeding, which will include efforts to reach a solution in solving mutual problems in terms of livestock and herbal health. Also, this section also aims to terminate restrictions on dairy production.

The update of the Customs Union Agreement is expected to expand Turkey’s network of FTAs and offer new market opportunities for exporters. Furthermore, the expansion of the scope of the Customs Union will allow industrial output to enter advantageous markets such as public procurement.

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