Ankara and Ankara are unlikely to reach a comprehensive trade agreement until at least the end of the year, an EU official said on Wednesday.
The talks on the Turkish-EU free trade deal have been going on since last year and the two sides hope to conclude a deal this year, but they could still be bogged down in a trade dispute.
“We expect that we will have another round of talks with the Turkish side, which is expected to conclude by the end-of-March or early April, or early May, the European Commission’s chief economist Olli Rehn said.”
But I’m not sure at this point if they are going to reach an agreement.
“The EU is the biggest market for Turkish exports to Europe, accounting for almost a third of Turkish exports.
The bloc has been seeking a free-trade deal with Turkey for more than two decades, but the two countries have never reached a deal.
A final deal is not likely until 2020, a senior EU official told Reuters, noting that the Turkish economy is expected hit by a sharp fall in foreign direct investment.
The Turkish economy grew by 9.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020, according to data from the country’s statistics agency.”
I don’t think it’s a complete collapse, but I do think it is a very slow growth for the economy and the unemployment rate is at a record high,” Rehn told Reuters.
The EU trade commissioner is expected on Wednesday to hold a special meeting with the EU’s foreign ministers, the first since the crisis erupted last November.
Turkey and the EU are the biggest trading partners in the bloc.EU leaders hope the trade deal will boost their economies, ease their travel restrictions and allow them to keep closer ties with the bloc’s largest market.
The negotiations will also be important for Turkey, which has suffered a sharp decline in foreign investment in the last two years.
Turkey’s foreign trade has fallen from $1.3 billion in 2015 to $966 million in 2016, while the economy has shrunk by an additional 6.1 percent.
In November, Turkey suspended a planned $3 billion deal with the European Union, citing a dispute over EU accession talks.