Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) enable boosting trade and social relationships between two or more countries. Reducing duty expenses and trade barriers, they help address behind-the-border barriers, encourage investment, and improve the rules affecting issues such as intellectual property, e-commerce, and government procurement.
Involved in EU Customs Union since 1996, Turkey has been implementing its trade policy following the EU’s Common Commercial Policy and has FTAs in force with 20 countries now, which are the EFTA countries, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Mauritius, South Korea, Malaysia, Moldova, Faroe Islands, and Singapore.
Besides, Turkey has started or been conducting negotiations with countries including Lebanon, Kosovo, Sudan, Qatar, Venezuela, Japan, Ukraine, Peru, Indonesia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Thailand, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Seychelles, Gulf Cooperation Council, Libya, the MERCOSUR countries, USA, Canada, India, Vietnam, Central American countries, other ACP countries, Algeria, and South Africa.
Free trade activities in Turkey offer numerous advantages, which are:
- Free access to markets that foreign investors in Turkey may not reach before
- Reducing of income tax from 33% to 20% and tax benefits/incentives in Technology Development Zones,
- Industrial Zones, and Free Zones which could result in total or partial exemption from Corporate Income
- Tax, a grant on employer’s social security share, as well as land allocation
- Turkey’s FTA partners with a share of 9.5% in export markets and a share of 4.5% in Turkey’s imports with a trade surplus of 3.9 billion dollars
- Turkey as a desirable country for foreign investors for production and exportation, a production base for electronics, nutriment, chemistry, durable consumer goods with its advantageous location and easy access to its neighbor countries via land transportation
- Qualities of improving efficiency and innovation, driving competitiveness and promoting fairness