The EU has decided to focus on bilateral trade agreements as an instrument for boosting growth, with the introduction of its new “Global Europe” trade strategy in 2006. In line with this strategy, the EU has begun negotiating free trade agreements with specific provisions on services, investment, public procurement and intellectual property rights, in order to increase/maintain its competitiveness in global markets. Turkey is preparing for such an environment. After starting and starting negotiations in parallel with the EU, Turkey is also adapting to all the issues covered in the agreements and negotiating next-generation free trade agreements with its potential partners. Without prejudice to WTO provisions, the Turkey-EU customs union provides an important legal basis for Turkey`s free trade agreements. Within the framework of the customs union, Turkey is directing its trade policy towards the EU`s common trade policy. This harmonization concerns both autonomous regimes and preferential agreements with third countries. The provisions relating to the protection of intellectual property rights (Article 15 and a new Annex XII) concern, among other things, patents, trademarks, copyrights and geographical indications. This page lists the free trade agreements signed by Turkey. In 1995, Turkey signed a customs union with the European Union for products other than agricultural products and services. Since 2018, the EU has been Turkey`s main trading partner, with 50% of its exports and 36% of its imports.  Turkey negotiates and concludes free trade agreements with third countries in parallel with the global trend towards free trade agreements and its commitment to the customs union. Under the EU common tariff, preferential trade regimes are the most important part of trade policy towards third countries. Turkey is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Euromed) and should therefore conclude free trade agreements with all other Mediterranean partners in order to create a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. One of the objectives of the agreement (Article 1) is to promote the harmonious development of economic relations between the contracting parties by extending mutual trade. The agreement contains provisions relating to the elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers, as well as other trade-related disciplines, such as competition rules, intellectual property protection, public procurement, state monopolies, state aid, payments and transfers.
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