Ömer Bolat: The customs union with Europe should be developed

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Turkish Trade Minister Ömer Bolat stated that the Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union should be modernized and developed to meet the changing structure of international trade.

This came in the first session of the high-level trade dialogue between Turkey and the European Union, which was held on Monday at the Commission building in Brussels.

Bolat stressed that they are determined to overcome current challenges, seize new opportunities, and ensure a prosperous future for both the European Union and Turkey.

He explained that they have worked hard to create a positive agenda between Turkey and the European Union since the second half of 2023, and that through the tireless efforts of both sides, they have succeeded in developing a comprehensive road map to further deepen the comprehensive integration between Turkey and the European Union.

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He stated that thanks to the establishment of the Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union in 1995, the two sides were able to put the economic and trade partnership between the two sides on a strong contractual basis.

He continued: “Since then, the Customs Union has played an important role in developing trade relations through the gradual liberalization of trade and aligning Turkey with the European Union’s gains and trade policies.”

He added: “As a result, we succeeded in constantly increasing bilateral trade, and last year it reached a peak of $210 billion.”

The Turkish Minister stressed the importance of expanding the customs union to include new areas such as services and digital trade, in addition to deepening cooperation in the green transformation.

The Customs Union Agreement entered into force on January 1, 1996, pursuant to the decision taken at the Turkish-European Association Council meeting on March 6, 1995, following negotiations between the two sides.