Full customs union best course for EU, Turkey: Minister
Turkish economy minister says deal on services, agriculture and public procurements would help both parties
An updated customs union between Turkey and the EU -- to include services, agriculture and public procurements -- is the most advantageous option on the table, Turkey’s economy minister said on Wednesday.
Speaking to journalists during a flight to Ethiopia for an official visit, Nihat Zeybekci said the updated alternative would boost Turkey’s GDP significantly.
“The EU and Turkey have independent institutions to make impact assessment analyses on this subject, and the results of second alternative are positive for both sides,” Zeybekci said.
Pointing out there are four alternative models for updating the customs union agreement Zeybekci said: “The first model is an updating agreement with a limited range in agricultural products.”
“The second alternative is updating the agreement with a full scope of agricultural products, services and public procurements plus to take a seat in the decision-making mechanism and to automatically become a party to the FTAs signed with third countries,” he said.
Converting the Customs Union Agreement to a comprehensive free-trade agreement with rights to determine tariffs on products separately was stated as a third alternative.
“The last option is converting the existing agreement, which contains only industrial goods, to a FTA, and this means going back from the current state,” said Zeybekci.
“We have evaluated all these alternatives and, as far as I can see, the second alternative is positive for both us and the EU. Not eliminating the other ones, we will concentrate on this option,” Zeybekci added.
The second alternative is also estimated to boost Turkey’s GDP by an additional two percent per year by 2030, according to an impact analysis, Zeybekci said.
“This will bring additional growth of 24.5 percent in exports and extra 23 percent in imports upon normal growth of those figures,” he added.