Turkey ‘should prepare for European green deal’
Barçın Yinanç - ISTANBUL
Turkey needs to prioritize sooner rather than later the European Green Deal, the European Union’s roadmap to tackle environmental challenges, if it wants to avoid being hit by a new barrier in its trade with Europe, according to Turkey’s top business diplomat.
“The European Green Deal will be one of the most important topics in Turkey’s foreign trade agenda in the period ahead; it is not a side issue, but a key topic for us to discuss,” Nail Olpak, the president of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) of Turkey, said on June 29.
The Green Deal aims to make Europe a carbon-neutral continent through a transition to climate and environment-friendly production. However, in order to avoid harming European competitiveness, the EU is seeking to impose a carbon tax on imports, which could hurt Turkey’s trade with its biggest trade partner.
“We need to work to reach green standards in each phase of the production,” said Olpak. “EU countries are preparing ardently, as the Turkish business community, we should also get prepared,” the DEİK president told journalists.
“We might face a non-tariff barrier and when it happens it won’t help to cry. This is an important issue which the Trade Ministry is working on,” he added.
Olpak spoke to a group of journalists ahead of the meeting today, June 29 in Ankara of the coordination board to improve investment environment which he will attend.
When asked about the taxes introduced during the pandemic to imports and whether this means a process of self-isolation for Turkey, Olpak said, “I see this as part of the glocalization process. The urgent priority currently is to stand on our feet, to pass this period with the least possible damage. I believe the restrictions brought to imports will not be permanent. Otherwise, we would be the first to raise our voice.”
Olpak said the Turkish trade community is demanding the set-up of Turkish logistical centers in different regions in the world.