By Kamila Aliyeva
Turkey is ready to renew the agreement on the Customs Union with the European Union, according to the Turkish Ministry for EU Affairs.
The European Union is also interested in renewing the agreement on the Customs Union with Turkey, the ministry said.
Commenting on the prospects for Turkey-EU relations, the ministry told Trend that the problems existing between the parties are related to the fact that the EU applies double standards towards Ankara.
Negotiations on updating the Customs Union agreement between Turkey and the European Union started in Brussels on June 13. Turkey is the only country linked by the Customs Union agreement with the EU, while not being its member.
Earlier, Germany demanded that the European Union exert financial pressure on Ankara. In addition, the government of Germany believes that the EU should freeze negotiations with Turkey on the modernization of the Customs Union.
Ankara seeks revision of the terms of the Customs Union agreement with the EU, according to which Turkey should open its markets to third countries that will sign a free trade agreement with the EU.
At the same time, no tax exemptions will be applied to Turkish goods entering the markets of third countries, since Turkey is not a member of the EU.
The update of the Customs Union Agreement is expected to expand Turkey's network of FTAs and offer new market opportunities for exporters. Furthermore, the expansion of the scope of the agreement will allow industrial output to enter advantageous markets such as public procurement.
The Customs Union agreement between Turkey and the EU came into force December 31, 1995.
Turkey is EU's fourth largest export market and fifth largest provider of imports. The EU is by far Turkey's number one import and export partner.
The trade turnover between Turkey and the EU in 2016 amounted to $145.864 billion dollars, which is 2.2 percent higher than the same period of the year before last.
The EU exports to Turkey are dominated by machinery and transport material, chemical products and manufactured goods. Turkey's exports to the EU are mostly machinery and transport equipment, followed by manufactured goods.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUİK), 64 percent of foreign investment in Turkey falls on the EU countries. Out of 50,000 foreign companies operating in Turkey as for the end of last year, some 23,000 are companies from Europe.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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