09-12-2020 16:04:39

“Challenges posed by pandemic to global economy raise need to update Customs Union,”

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan met with Valdis Dombrovskis, European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission, via videoconference.

The Turkish trade minister said the Customs Union agreement falls short of meeting today's needs.

Along with having systemic and structural problems, the agreement does not cover sectors such as services and e-commerce, Ruhsar Pekcan stressed, according to an official press release on Wednesday.

The pandemic challenges to the global economy raised the need to update the Customs Union, she noted.

"It is important to expand the existing agreement to include new areas and update it to address structural problems.

"We expect support from the European Commission in this regard," she added.

Pekcan noted that Dombrovskis, who took up to the position in October, will improve relations between Turkey and the EU, and contribute to a more effective dialogue.

Touching on a free trade agreement with the UK, she said Turkey aims to bring the agreement into force simultaneously with the EU.

The UK, which left from the EU as of January 2020, is one of the major trade partners and export destinations of Turkey. Under the new Brexit conditions, the two countries need a trade agreement to continue to efficiently conduct trade relations.

She also said the EU should revise its protectionist policies on steel imports, which particularly affect Turkey.