The UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed on December 29 during a conference call between UK international trade secretary Liz Truss and his Turkish counterpart Ruhsar Pekcan. The deal will secure existing preferential tariffs for the 7,600 UK businesses that exported goods to Turkey in 2019, ensuring the continued tariff-free flow of goods.

Both countries have also committed to working towards a more ambitious free trade agreement in the future, which will go further than the existing deal and will be tailored to the UK economy, a UK government press release said.

The latest FTA will ensure preferential trading terms for UK businesses that exported more than £1 billion worth of machinery, and iron and steel exports worth £575 million to Turkey in 2019.

It also ensures UK businesses can continue to import under preferential tariffs, compared with no agreement. This supports UK importers of textiles, where the annual increase in estimated duties would have been around £102 million under terms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“In under two years we have now reached agreement with 62 countries—and the European Union—to cover £885 billion of UK trade,” the press release said.

The UK government’s ambition is to secure free trade agreements with countries that cover 80 per cent of UK trade within three years.