Turkey informed WTO members that its free trade agreement with Singapore, the third in the region after agreements with Malaysia and Korea, would lead to a gradual liberalization of all goods and services. Tariffs on 8% of tariff lines were immediately abolished and will increase to 95% on a 10-year value. The agreement with Singapore is Turkey`s first public procurement agreement, Turkey said. The presentations were made as part of the WTO Transparency Mechanism for ATRs. As part of this process, WTO members inform the WTO of their ATRs and agreements are discussed on the broadest membership of the WTO, based on a substantive presentation drawn up by the WTO secretariat. He stressed the importance of an economic partnership agreement until the end of 2019 and said he expected the agreement to be compensated for the common goal of free trade and differences in economic development. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) creates a free trade area for trade in goods and services. The agreement also contains provisions on public procurement, investment liberalization, intellectual property, competition policy, subsidies, state-owned enterprises, regulatory cooperation, trade and sustainable development, agricultural cooperation, small and medium-sized enterprises and a dispute resolution mechanism. « Turkish exports to Japan have reached only $480 million, while last year imports amounted to $4 billion, » the president said, adding: « We are pleased to have Japanese products in our market. While Japanese industrial products can enter the Turkish market freely, our strong agricultural products are subject to the customs system and face challenges other than tariffs. Erdogan noted that this trade compensation is reflected in the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement.
The free trade agreement between Turkey and Singapore aims to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment between the two sides. The agreement comprises 18 chapters, including trade in goods and services, trade agents, health and plant health measures, technical barriers to trade, customs and trade, e-commerce and public procurement. In a global context of growing trade protectionism, Turkey is one of the countries that has spoken out in favour of free trade, as demonstrated by the recent G20 summit statement in Osaka. With regard to bilateral relations, Turkey has also sought to implement the principles of free trade. In a meeting with Japanese businessmen and authorities yesterday in Tokyo, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed that cooperation between Turkey and Japan has become more valuable at a time of increasing trade protectionism and obstructions to free trade. The President highlighted the rise of the walls of protectionism around the world, stressing that such trade strategies and wars are holding back global growth and negatively impacting emerging economies. The President stressed that Japan is Turkey`s third largest trading partner in Asia and is one of the leaders in the Turkish industrialization process.