Turkey’s Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), on Tuesday addressed the challenges emerging from both the upcoming Brexit process and trade wars.
They attended a meeting, Trade Wars, Brexit and the Future of the Multilateral Trading System organized by the International Chamber of Commerce Turkey National Committee.
During the meeting, Pekcan stressed the importance of strong economic ties between Turkey and Britain.
“We still don’t know what will happen on Oct. 31 but there is one thing we know; Britain is one of the countries we trade the most with, the second country we export the most to,” she said.
She said if hard Brexit occurs Turkey will be the second most affected country after the EU, adding that the Turkish government is proactively working on minimizing the negative impacts of the process.
Pekcan also raised some concerns over trade wars between the U.S. and China, saying trade wars have turned from discourse into an action that hurts.
Hisarciklioglu said the trade wars, which began as a commercial duel between the U.S. and China, have gradually turned into a vortex that has drawn the EU, Japan and Korea into it.
“We still do not know how the Brexit is going to be resolved or what will happen after the divorce,” he said, adding the process has turned into a mess.
He also added it is unclear whether U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to put an end to the issue, or whether Britain will seek a new election or referendum.
“As the business world, we are getting dragged into even greater risks as uncertainty increases,” he said.
The U.K. is currently scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31, but turmoil in the British government has raised the prospect of another postponement of the divorce date.