The parties recognize that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent. In Chapter 7, they reaffirm their commitment to multilateral contracts and principles in the environment and work and commit to a level of protection by recognizing the right of each party to set its own level of environmental and labour protection. Arbitration procedures do not apply to this chapter. 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. 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.
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. Turkey, a party to the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995, implements free trade agreements in accordance with Article XXIV of the 1947 GATT. Under this article, Turkey could give its trading partners more favourable treatment within the framework of a customs union or free trade area, without extending this treatment to all WTO members, subject to certain conditions. For AELE-Turkey trade statistics see AELE Trade Statistics Tool 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.  The agreement provides tariff concessions for processed agricultural products under Schedule III. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. While bilateral agricultural agreements between Norway and Turkey, as well as Iceland and Turkey, remain in force, the bilateral agricultural agreement between Switzerland and Turkey has also been modernized and will replace the existing bilateral agricultural agreement after the modernized EFTA-Turkey free trade agreement comes into force.