Foreword from Leigh Turner, HM Consul-General Istanbul and Director-General of UK Trade & Investment for Turkey, Central Asia & South Caucasus

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TLG_8178I am delighted to contribute to this guide to “Doing Business in Turkey”.

Turkey is a dynamic market and a country with which the UK enjoys a close political and economic relationship. The economist Jim O’Neil, of BRICs fame, has identified Turkey as one of four MINT countries (alongside with Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria) likely to become global economic leaders by 2050. In July 2010, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and British Prime Minister Cameron signed a Strategic Partnership which serves to deepen our bilateral relationship and recognises Turkey’s growing global political and economic influence. The partnership includes the goal of doubling trade between the United Kingdom and Turkey by 2015. I am pleased to say we are on track to achieve that.

Our strategy is to showcase UK excellence and expertise and promote the UK as Turkey’s partner of choice for trade and investment. We have matched the strengths of the British economy with demand from Turkey in priority sectors, including ICT; renewable energy, including civil nuclear power; infrastructure, including airports, rail, road and ports; financial and business services; and defence and security technologies.

Turkey is Europe’s sixth and the world’s seventeenth largest economy. Its economic growth record, its talented young workforce and its geographical location, straddling Europe and Asia and providing a hub for access to regional markets in Central Asia and the South Caucasus, make Turkey a key destination for UK and European trade and investment. The Customs Union with the EU and recent political, economic and legal reforms are also helping businesses to grow and prosper here.

One illustration of the close UK-Turkey relationship is the GREAT Campaign. This is a series of exciting events and initiatives designed to share and promote opportunities for Turkish and British businesses, and Turkish and British people, to work together in partnership more closely than ever before. The GREAT campaign is helping to secure UK participation in major infrastructure projects in Turkey and to encourage increased Turkish inward investment into the United Kingdom (the UK is already one of the largest foreign investors in Turkey). The campaign is also promoting educational links between Turkey and the UK, including increasing the numbers of students going to the UK.

In recent years, more and more UK companies have set up operations in Turkey in response to the opportunities available. There are now over 2,400 UK companies doing business in Turkey. Well-known names include Tesco, Vodafone, BP, Shell, HSBC, Harvey Nichols, Rolls-Royce, Diageo and Astra Zeneca. In 2012 alone, British foreign direct investment into Turkey was $1.9 billion.

I am confident this guide will be helpful to companies interested in doing business in Turkey. My experienced UK Trade & Investment team in Turkey is also here to help. You can contact them via for specific market information and further advice about your approach to doing business in Turkey.

Leigh Turner
HM Consul-General Istanbul and Director-General of UK Trade & Investment for Turkey, Central Asia & South Caucasus


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