In sub-Saharan Africa, RSA is Turkey`s largest trading partner. Turkey`s trade with RSA, which accounted for about 18% of our trade with sub-Saharan Africa. The volume of trade between two countries amounted to $1.3 billion in 2019 (Turkey`s exports: USD 552.5 million; Import to Turkey: USD 757.5 million). Turkey had proposed a free trade agreement with South Africa to strengthen trade and trade relations by speeding up the movement of goods. To date, Turkey has concluded free trade agreements with 36 countries, 11 of which have been repealed because of their accession to the EU. 20 free trade agreements are currently in force in Turkey; AELE, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Albania, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia, Chile, Mauritius, South Korea, Malaysia, Moldova, Faroe Islands and Singapore. The following agreements have been replaced by the EU-Turkey customs union: this page lists the free trade agreements signed by Turkey.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.  “I am confident that bilateral investment will continue to improve if our economies recover after coVID-19 and growth prospects improve,” said Elif Comoglu Ulgen, Turkey`s ambassador to South Africa, in an interview with Anadolu news agency. Ulgen stressed that Arcelik`s success in investing in DEFY continues to attract Turkish investors to South Africa, with Arcelik`s suppliers in Turkey increasingly exploring production opportunities in Africa`s most developed economies. In today`s world, countries tend to enter into bilateral and regional free trade agreements, as the World Trade Organization (WTO) has achieved a high level of liberalization, with insufficient WTO rules under current conditions and an inefficient multilateral trading system to allow better market access.
As a result of this trend, some 400 free trade agreements are being notified to the WTO. Finally, as a result of Brexit, Turkey has set up a working group with the United Kingdom to maintain the current bilateral market access structure in the short term and to create a comprehensive free trade agreement in the medium term. 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.