Dünya Executive - - OVERVIEW -

Research shows that updating the Customs Union between Turkey and EU would benefit both two sides, the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey said on March 20.

The trade volume between Turkey and the EU recently reached 150 billion euros ($170 billion), Christian Berger told a seminar in Istanbul on the customs union.

He underlined that Turkish companies should comply with standards under the framework of possible full EU membership and the Customs Union.

Political issues have hampered progress between the EU and Turkey, he stressed, saying: “The EU and Turkey agree on many, many issues, we are in the same boat when it comes to globalizat­ion, we are in the same boat when it comes to upholding the principles of multilater­alism.”

“Not only political issues but also on trade issues, upholding principles of the World Trade Organizati­on, Turkey and the EU stand together,” he added.

Touching on global trade conflicts, Berger said Turkey and the EU also face a similar situation.

Sekib Avdagic, head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, said the EU should give Turkey the right to participat­e in the Customs Union’s decision mechanism and complete Turkey’s visa liberaliza­tion process to remove obstacles to trade.

Under a 2016 deal, Turkey took steps to stem a tide of refugees, and the EU had pledged to take steps on visa liberaliza­tion and updating the Customs Union. Turkey has complained the EU failed to meet its end of the deal.

“Turkey has limited rights in the Common Market. The EU has 26 free trade agreements covering 37 countries and regions and Turkey is obliged to accept all agreements,” Avdagic added.

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