Crisis-hit UK firms raise hopes on Turkish market

Crisis-hit UK firms raise hopes on Turkish market

Servet Yeşilyurt ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Crisis-hit UK firms raise hopes on Turkish market

UK’s Consul General to Istanbul Jessica Hand, Lord Green, Dinçer and Minister Şimşek (left to right). AA photo

British firms, suffering from stagnant growth at home, are seeing new chances in Turkey, as the two countries seek ways to double their bilateral trade volume in the next few years.

“We have targeted a doubling of the bilateral trade volume between our countries by 2015,” British Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green said yesterday at the Turkish-British Business Forum organized jointly with the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) and the Turkish-British Business Council.

The 30 British firms that attended the forum held about 200 meetings with local businesses during the trade mission’s stay in Turkey.

More and more British businesses should engage, invest and trade internationally, Green said, noting that growth was not likely to come very strongly in the domestic market.

A Birmingham-based software company, Delcam, which has been active in Turkey through local partners, is gearing up to start its own direct office in the country. “We have been aware that the market is growing very strongly, and felt that we needed to have a more direct presence in the market, so now we are setting up our subsidiary,” Clive Martel, the CEO of the company, told the Daily News on the sidelines of the event. The company produces software for computer-aided design and manufacture.

Trevor Fletcher, the fifth-generation owner of the Hardstaff Group, which is this year celebrating its 150th year, told the Daily News that he was here in Turkey to try and create a partnership and trade opportunities from scratch.

“We have a technology to allow the operator to reduce the diesel use by 50 percent and replace energy using natural gas,” he said, adding, “we have started talking to İpragaz.”

Noting that the bilateral trade volume had hit $14 billion in 2011, the Turkish-British Business Council President and chair of Akbank, Suzan Sabancı Dinçer, said at the opening session of the forum that the new Turkey was a country of implementation and leadership.

“We think we are in the process of a soft landing and rebalancing, which is important for the next stage of sustained high growth,” Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said on the Turkish economy at the meeting. He further elaborated on the process as “still attaining moderate GDP growth, which is in our case about 4 percent, while narrowing the current account deficit.”