HC Deb 12 May 1998 vol 312 c152
25. Mr. Ben Chapman (Wirral, South)

What assessment he has made of the progress of the Turkish economy in recent years and its attractiveness to UK investors and exporters. [40516]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Derek Fatchett)

In recent years, Turkey has become a key market for British companies. In 1997, two-way trade between the United Kingdom and Turkey reached a new record of £2.8 billion. British exports to Turkey alone amounted to £1.76 billion, which was an increase of 13 per cent. on 1996. However, there is still potential to increase bilateral trade further. To that end, on 25 June, my noble Friend the Minister for Trade, Lord Clinton-Davis, will launch a target market campaign to promote the opportunities that the Turkish market offers.

Mr. Chapman

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Is he aware that the Turkish CBI and—during its recent visit—the Anglo-Turkish Business Council have confirmed that the investment climate for British firms in Turkey is increasingly attractive? Does he also agree that trade and investment are but one part of an important bilateral relationship, and that the value of that relationship is such that it makes the Luxembourg decision look ever more disappointing?

Mr. Fatchett

We seek a full and rounded relationship with Turkey, involving both trade and a political dialogue. As part of building that relationship, we have made it clear that we should like Turkey to be engaged in the European process and involved in future discussions on European Union enlargement.

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