Istanbul, July 7 () - Already bridging economic relations between Turkey and the United Kingdom for more than 100 years, the activities of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) have been gaining further momentum over the past two years, the BCCT said in a written statement on July 7.
The BCCT has now been a strategic partner of the United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI) for a year and a half. Closer cooperation with UKTI has empowered the chamber to further improve and expand its value-added services for the benefit of companies looking to engage in commercial activities between the two countries.
According to BCCT Chairman Chris Gaunt, all current economic dynamics point to a promising future for Turkish investment in the U.K., British investment in Turkey, and for partnership and trade between companies from the two countries.
The bilateral yearly trade volume between the U.K. and Turkey has reached $16 billion, nearly 65 percent of which consists of exports from Turkey to the U.K., reads the BCCT statement, adding that the U.K. is Turkey’s third largest export market and its 11th biggest import partner.
UK eyes rise in exports, FDI to Turkey
As the second largest foreign investor in the Turkish market in 2014 with investments amounting to around $1 billion, the U.K. is looking to increase exports and foreign direct investment in Turkey, especially in the area of energy, renewables, and information and communication technology (ICT).
Gaunt pointed out that the chamber provides consultancy services for British SMEs that are interested in the Turkish market, with more than 300 companies contacting it for such services over the last 18 months.
He added that local strategic partnerships are the best starting point for such companies, and that BCCT encourages British companies to get involved in such collaborations. When local know-how and local best practices are combined with British firms’ capabilities in innovation, technology, design and R&D, the results are very successful, Gaunt said.
“An initiative by Beko, a Turkish home appliances and white goods manufacturer with a successful track record especially in Europe, and a member of BCCT, is a good example of such an existing partnership. The company has recently partnered with two U.K. universities for R&D in order to accelerate innovation for the company’s consumer electronics business” reads the statement.
Gaunt said the chamber’s priority is to continue to “build awareness about Turkey’s intrinsic value” and to encourage strategic partnerships that would stimulate innovation and domestic R&D.
Within the past 18 months, the BCCT has moved to new offices that better fit its purpose and has put together a broader team to deliver services for U.K. companies looking to conduct business in Turkey and vice versa.
Investments from Turkey in the U.K. have also increased over the last year. Yıldız Holding, the Turkish conglomerate that acquired the Godiva Chocolatier seven years ago, recently purchased United Biscuits, the biggest biscuit manufacturer in the U.K., for around $2.8 billion.