'UK firms see Turkey as alternative production base to SE Asia'
U.K. companies are looking at Turkey as an alternative production base to Southeast Asia and have launched inquiries into the matter, the head of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey said on Oct 28.
Pointing to shortening supply chains and increasing transportation costs, Chris Gaunt told Anadolu Agency that Turkey has manufacturing capability, a well-educated workforce, growing technology, infrastructure, and distribution and logistics advantages.
He also underlined that Turkey has the right level of technological capability to deal with the new challenges that climate change will bring.
Turkey has the natural resources - wind, solar, hydro - and capability for making carbon-free production and catch sustainable goals, he said, adding that the U.K. would be looking to support Turkey in achieving those goals with its experience.
The country is also advancing very quickly with numerous technological incentives, he stressed, adding: "We see a lot of Turkey's technology startups that are doing extremely well. If you put all this together, we see a real, strong technology platform that is going to benefit both countries.
"Automotive also is a major priority for the U.K. in Turkey, particularly on sustainability and electric vehicles."
Gaunt said Turkey and the U.K. were focused on resetting their domestic business, noting that British firms' interest in Turkey increased.
He underlined that the U.K. and Turkey have always had a strong business and trade relationship, with the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey going back to 1887.
Touching on the free trade agreement signed by the U.K. and Turkey in December 2020, he said it provided the two countries with a strong platform to boost trade ties.
He added that the deal also included a commitment to renegotiate it within two years to include more sectors.
"Turkey is a long-term commitment ... You have to be serious about doing business in Turkey and you have to establish your presence, build your networks, understand the culture, and understand how the Turkish companies are structured," he underlined.
Though this process takes time for companies, in the end, they will have a strong place, he said, highlighting that Turkey will continue to attract more investments.