Turkey and the United Kingdom signed a free-trade agreement Tuesday as the UK plans to leave the European Union’s economic orbit at the beginning of the new year.
The deal, which will take effect from 1 January aims to support trade between the two countries which was worth more than $25 billion in 2019.
It is one of many post-Brexit trade deals the British government is pursuing with nations around the world and came days after it finalised a trade agreement with the EU.
The UK left the EU on 31 January of this year but remained subject to the bloc’s business regulations and within its customs union during a transition period that ends on 31 December.
Turkish Trade Minister, Ruhsar Pekcan and Dominick Chilcott, the British ambassador to Turkey, signed the British-Turkish agreement.
Pekcan hailed the deal as the most significant trade pact for Turkey since the signing of a customs union agreement with the EU in 1995.
“The free trade agreement is a new and special milestone in the relationship between Turkey and United Kingdom,” Pekcan said during the ceremony.
Britain is Turkey’s second-largest export market.
A British government’s statement said the deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for some 7,600 British businesses that exported goods to Turkey in 2019, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods.
Both countries have said the deal will lead to a more comprehensive agreement in the future.