Turkey and the UK are set to sign a landmark free trade agreement on Tuesday, Turkey’s president announced after a Cabinet meeting.

The pact with the UK – coming days before Brexit’s transitional period ends – will be Turkey’s “most important trade deal” since its 1995 Customs Union with the EU, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.

“A new era begins starting in 2021, one in which both Turkey and the UK will win,” he said.

Erdogan also underlined that as of Dec. 25, Turkey’s annual exports hit $166 billion, shooting past the country’s targets for all of 2020.

“We are closing our current account deficit with high value-added investments and reducing our need for external financing,” he said.

COVID-19 vaccine

Erdogan also stressed that they expect the first batches of coronavirus vaccines ordered from China to be delivered to the country before the New Year.

On Sunday, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that a shipment of Chinese-made vaccine to Turkey was postponed for “one or two days” due to the discovery of a novel coronavirus case at Beijing customs.

The first batch of 3 million doses of the Chinese SinoVac vaccine had been expected to arrive in Turkey today.

Erdogan also said: “We are committed to providing more than one vaccine of our own production to the service of our nation as soon as possible.”

He also urged the people to continue to follow protective measures to fight the pandemic.

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