Trade & Industry Committee

26 July 2007


NEW INQUIRY INTO THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF TURKEY JOINING THE EU

The Trade and Industry Committee is today announcing a new inquiry into the UK’s economic relations with Turkey.

During the Committee’s inquiry into the economic impact on the UK of the accession in recent years of the ten Central and Eastern European countries, it has become apparent that economic relations with Turkey are of growing significance to the UK.

Since a financial crisis in 2001, Turkey has enjoyed a period of strong economic growth of above 5% a year. While Turkey has begun EU accession negotiations, it already has extensive access to EU markets through its customs union with the EU, although this does not cover agriculture, services or public procurement.

Turkey is an important trading partner for the UK. In 2006 it was the 20th largest export market for UK goods, and also the 28th largest export market for UK services. As regards UK imports, Turkey ranked 19th for goods and 20th for services. (Source: Pink Book 2007, table 9.12) UK Trade and Investment has also designated Turkey as one of 17 ‘high growth markets’ where UK businesses could capitalise on major commercial opportunities

The Committee intends to focus on:

• bilateral trade and investment opportunities;

• difficulties faced by UK businesses wishing to trade, or forge investment links, with Turkey;

• the role of the UK Government in assisting businesses, through UK Trade and Investment, in particular the practical impact of Turkey’s presence among its high growth markets, and the Regional Development Agencies in England;

• particular sectors, notably textiles, automotive and financial services, as well as the environment, ICT, marine, tourism and water sectors;

• Turkey’s potential as a gateway to markets in to the Middle East and the Caucasus and the Central Asian republics;

• The impact of EU trade policy, such as anti-dumping policies, on UK trade with Turkey;

• any expected changes in the economic, trade and investment relationship that might result from the accession of Turkey to the European Union.

The Committee invites written submissions to this inquiry to be sent to the Clerk at the address above by 5pm on Tuesday 30 October 2007.