Exports to UK Surge by 12.2%

Turkey is experiencing an increase of 12.2% in its exports to the United Kingdom, with a value of $3.57B (TL 62 billion). According to TIM, Turkey’s worldwide exports surged by 20.8% in the first quarter of the year compared to the last year. The exports of Turkey totaled $60.2B.

The Trade Between the UK and Turkey in Recent Years

The UK is and has always been an important trading partner for Turkey. It was Turkey’s third-largest export market after the USA with $13.7B. In addition, the United Kingdom was the 6th largest economy in the world at that time. With the Free Trade Agreement’s entry into force on January 1, 2021, trade between Turkey and the UK has started to expand. And is expected to grow even more in the near future.

Without this agreement, 75 percent of exports to the UK would face a tax burden. And Turkey would likely confront a loss of approximately 2.4 billion dollars. The free trade agreement signed by the UK and Turkey is the fifth largest trade agreement. It comes after the UK’s agreements with Japan, Canada, Switzerland, and Norway.

Trade between Turkey and the UK amounted to 25.25 billion dollars in 2019. In the first eleven months of 2020, despite the COVID-19 conditions, exports to the UK amounted to around 10 billion dollars. Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Turkey was $22.2B in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2021, an increase of 20.2%. Or $3.6 billion from the four quarters to the end of Q4 2020. As we see in the data, trade between Turkey and the UK grows every year. After the Free Trade Agreement, there has been an even more impressive growth in the total trade value.

Current Trade Between Turkey and the UK

The United Kingdom overtook the United States as the fourth country to which Turkey made the greatest foreign sales in the first quarter of the year. In that period, the United Kingdom’s proportion of Turkey’s exports reached 5.54 percent. Germany, the United States, and Italy had the greatest exports in the first three months of 2022, respectively. 

Turkey’s automotive industry exported the most to the United Kingdom during this time period. Exports to the United Kingdom from the automotive industry climbed by 7.3 percent in the first quarter. It reached $812.6 million. 

Istanbul had the most exports in the first three months. Istanbul was followed by northwest Kocaeli, western Izmir, Denizli, and Bursa, in that order. Exports from Istanbul to the United Kingdom increased by 18.6 percent in the January-March quarter, reaching $1.23 billion.

According to experts, a $3 billion export volume in the first quarter of 2022 is a solid indicator of the economy’s recovery following the COVID-19 epidemic. It also shows Turkey’s rising manufacturing capabilities. As one of Turkey’s most important export markets, the United Kingdom maintains a critical place in international trade.

History of the Trade Between Turkey and the UK

Bilateral relations between Turkey and the United Kingdom have a multidimensional structure due to strong historical ties. Being the NATO ally of Turkey, the United Kingdom, is one of Turkey’s leading partners in Europe. 

Relations between Turkey and England began in 1583 with the appointment of William Harborne as the first ambassador. 

After the UK’s departure from the EU, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, irregular migration, economic and defense industry cooperation are top priorities on the agenda of bilateral contacts. In 2007, the “Turkey – United Kingdom Strategic Partnership Document”, which entered into force for two years, was reviewed, renewed, and signed during the visit of the former British Prime Minister David Cameron to Turkey on July 26-27, 2010.

The Products Turkey Exports to the UK

In 2017, The bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the United Kingdom was 16 billion 157 million USD. As of December 2017, there are 3,076 British firms operating in Turkey, including BP, Vodafone, Tesco, and HSBC. Gold, textile products and ready-to-wear clothing are some of the significant export products of Turkey. Electrical and non-electrical machinery, motor vehicles and parts, iron and steel products, insulated wires, and cables come to the fore in the products that Turkey exports to the United Kingdom. The main products imported from the United Kingdom are diesel and semi-diesel engines, automobiles, stray iron/steel, their ingots, and medical and pharmaceutical products to be used in treatment and protection.

The total amount of direct investments from the United Kingdom to Turkey from 2002 to 2017 was 9 billion 886 million USD. The figure for investments from Turkey to the United Kingdom during the same period was 2 billion 321 million USD. In addition, the UK is a major contributor to tourism in Turkey. In 2017, more than 1.6 million British tourists visited Turkey. Entering 2022, Turkey’s tourism minister stated that Turkey expected 2 and a half million British tourists.

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