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EU trade relations with Türkiye. Facts, figures and latest developments.

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EU-Türkiye trade relations are based on an Association Agreement from 1963 and a Customs Union agreement, which entered into force on 31 December 1995.

Türkiye has been a candidate country to join the European Union since 1999. Accession negotiations started in 2005, but have not advanced recently. Türkiye is a member of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Trade picture

  • The EU-Türkiye Customs Union has enabled bilateral trade to increase significantly, reaching a record high of almost €206 billion in 2023. 
  • Türkiye became the EU’s 5th largest trade partner in 2023, representing 4.1% of the EU’s total trade in goods with the world (compared to 3.3% in 2022). 
  • The EU’s exports of goods to Türkiye totalled €111 billion in 2023. The EU’s imports of goods from Türkiye amounted to €95.5 billion. On both sides, exports of motor vehicles, machinery, and electrical equipment lead the way.
  • The EU stands as Türkiye’s largest goods import and export partner by a significant margin. In 2023, 41% of Türkiye’s exported goods were destined for the EU, while 29% of the country’s imported goods originated from the EU.
  • Total trade in services between the EU and Türkiye amounted to €35 billion in 2022, representing a significant increase from €24.2 billion in 2021. This accounted for 1.4% of the EU’s total trade with the world in services. Transport and travel services are the EU’s most imported services from Türkiye, and transport and ICT services are the EU’s most exported services to Türkiye.

*Services data is only available with a delay of one year.

The EU and Türkiye

In 1963, the European Economic Community (the EEC; the EU’s predecessor) and Türkiye signed the Ankara Association Agreement, which expanded their economic and trade relations. An Additional Protocol aimed at progressively establishing a customs union between Türkiye and the EEC, and more closely aligning economic policies between the two parties, entered into force in 1973.

The Customs Union entered into force on 31 December 1995. It was the EU’s first substantial customs union with a non-EU country. It covers all industrial goods, but does not address agriculture (except for processed agricultural products), services or public procurement. Bilateral trade concessions apply to agricultural, coal and steel products. The Customs Union provides for a common external tariff for the products covered. It also foresees that Türkiye aligns to EU law (the acquis communautaire) in areas related to the Customs Union, such as customs legislation, the removal of technical barriers to trade, and the approximation of laws on protecting intellectual, industrial and commercial property and competition rules (including state aid).

Since its entry into force, the value of bilateral trade has increased more than fourfold. The Customs Union is also broadly recognised for having significantly contributed to Türkiye’s integration into European production networks. The alignment with the EU acquis and the liberalisation of tariffs have enhanced Türkiye’s global competitiveness. Around 30% of Türkiye’s GDP is associated with trade.

In December 2016, the Commission proposed to modernise the Customs Union and to extend bilateral trade relations to areas such as services, public procurement and sustainable development. The Commission proposal was based on comprehensive preparatory work throughout 2016, which included a public consultation with stakeholders and an impact assessment. However, the Council has not yet adopted the negotiating directives.

More information on the Customs Union and preferential arrangements

Türkiye and the Union for the Mediterranean

Türkiye is one of 42 current members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), which was launched in 2008 as a continuation of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership established at the Barcelona Conference in 1995.

This inter-governmental partnership promotes cooperation and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region and brings together all 27 EU Member States and 15 countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine*, Syria – suspended, Tunisia and Türkiye; Libya is an observer).

The UfM’s strategic objectives are regional stability, human development and regional economic integration. Its overall aim is to transform the Euro-Mediterranean region into an area of peace, stability and prosperity.

More information on the Union for the Mediterranean

Türkiye trading with the world

In addition to the Customs Union and other agreements with the EU, Türkiye has 22 Free Trade Agreements in force with: EFTA countries, Israel, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine*, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Syria (suspended), Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Mauritius, South Korea, Malaysia, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Singapore, Kosovo, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.

More details

Committees and Dialogues

The EU and Türkiye meet regularly to discuss issues and best practices and oversee the proper functioning of the Agreement.

Technical committee meetings - agendas and reports

Trading with Türkiye

* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

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