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    Britain's Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox speaks during the plenary session of the UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) 2018 at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018

    Better Together: UK, Turkey Discuss Further Cooperation in Post-Brexit Economy

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    Ministers from the United Kingdom and Turkey attended a major conference Thursday outlining prospects in trade and economic cooperation. New agreements will help both countries as they face financial uncertainty in the near future and proposed cooperation in a wide variety of sectors.

    London's 6th annual Turkey-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) saw Turkish trade ministers and their British counterparts ink bilateral agreements aimed at improving ties between the two countries.  

    Trade ministers from both countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) pledging to increase economic and commercial ties, Hurriyet Daily reported Thursday. 

    Rushar Pekcan, Turkey's trade minister, said at the post-signing UK-Turkey business forum that both nations hope to deepen cooperation after Brexit. "We plan to include services, agricultural products trade, e-trade, and public purchasing to make the agreement more comprehensive," Pekcan stated.  

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    "We will provide special incentives to technology-based projects and companies which operate in IT, informatics and software sectors," Pekcan continued, adding that she will invite British businesses to invest in high-tech free-trade zones in Turkey. 

    Liam Fox, UK secretary of state for international trade, commented that JETCO was the start of a richer relationship between the two states, and that JETCO aimed to diversify trade relationships for both countries. Fox also stressed the importance of Turkey's pivotal geopolitical position.  

    Fox also mentioned that setting a bilateral trade volume target of $20 billion was a realistic prospect, as over 200 major Turkish business operated in the United Kingdom. 

    The Secretary of State also expected British tourists visiting Turkey to reach 3 million in 2018, increasing 1.6 million from 2017. 

    The event was hosted by the UK Department of International Trade and took place at the Locarno Suite in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

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    It was preceded by a reception attended by minister of state for trade policy George Hollingbery MP, Turkish trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan and the Prime Minister's Turkish Trade Envoy Lord Janvrin. 

    Despite poor-performing indicators in the Turkish economy, including a falling Lira, 11 percent inflation and US-imposed economic sanctions and steel and aluminium tariffs, JETCO remained optimistic on trade relations.  

    Turkey still possesses a real annual GDP growth of 7 percent and a thriving service sector economy. Inflation is also expected to stabilize around 8 percent to 2022, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office noted. At a Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum September 2, Turkey proposed eliminating trade in US dollars with Russia, Iran, and others to boost its economy, which may appeal to UK businesses in future transactions.

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    Tags:
    international trade, UK Department of International Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rushar Pekcan, Liam Fox, Turkey, United Kingdom
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