"Within one month our revenues had jumped over 50%."

How to Do Business in Turkey

What do you need to know about if you’re interested in doing business in Turkey? Before deciding to do business with a country, it’s always a good idea to find out about the country’s trade history and their “story.” Below you can find general outlook information if you decide you want to trade with Turkey.

Beyond the big four BRIC countries, Turkey is one emerging economy that is particularly important and attractive for investors as well as trading companies. The country of Turkey is the 15th largest economy in the world according to Worldbank and is about to achieve a major milestone by entering the club of $1 trillion economies.The strategic location, serving as a bridge between Asia and Europe, makes Turkey a chief center of commerce in the region. Ongoing political stability has substantially increased the money inflow through foreign direct investment. Turkey’s economy is definitely worth keeping an eye on as a location for increased business. Other major strengths of the Turkish economy are the quality of the labor, restructured banking sector and the dynamic private sector with very skilled manpower.

Currency

The currency unit of Turkey is the Turkish Lira. During the last decade, Turkish lira has gained strength and stability against the U.S. dollar and the euro. Since this is an expected result for a significantly growing economy, currency appreciation has dented Turkey’s competitiveness in global markets. Economists are betting that the currency will remain stable (less volatile) for the next 5 years.

Language

Official language of Turkey is the Turkish language. Due to a strategic hub position and the culture, the language is not a significant trade barrier for companies planning to explore the Turkish market. According to a Eurobarometer report in 2006, 17% of Turkish population is capable of speaking English. In addition, German, French and Arabic languages are spoken widely all over the country as well.

Labor Force

The young, skilled, and low-cost labor force encourages foreign companies to invest directly to Turkey. The current monthly minimum wage is approximately $490. Employees are subject to personal income tax paid by the employee. The 2011 personal income tax rates differ from 15% to 35% where the standard corporate tax rate is 20%. Unlike Europe, unions are not powerful within the country, however, 45 hours per week working time regulation is strictly enforced by labor law.

Culture

Turkey is one of those countries which have been influenced by extreme cultures. The culture of Turkey is derived from Ottoman, European, Middle Eastern and Central Asian traditions. Generally, the people are very open and welcoming to trade with the rest of the world. For someone who is interested in trading with Turkey, significant benefits come from researching Turkish customs and traditions before the actual meeting.

Import and Export

Turkey is planning to hit $500 billion in export by 2023 according to Istanbul Trade Bureau. Automotive, consumer goods and apparel industries form the biggest section of the exporters. More than 40 thousand trading companies from Turkey export over 20 thousand unique exporting products to 238 countries all around the world.

Useful Information and Links about Turkey

Currency – Use the currency converter to convert Turkish Lira to other currencies.

Translation Tool - Do you need a Turkish Dictionary?

News - Check out all the latest daily news about Turkey.

Intercultural Know-how – This communication tool has tips on doing business in Turkey.

History – Read the history of Turkey.

For Trade Information

Turkish American Chamber - As the leading Turkish American independent business support and networking organization, TACCI functions to help its members improve their success, gain business expertise and introduce them to potential customers and suppliers.

Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry - The Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, TBCCI, was founded in 1980 as a non-profit making organisation to provide its members with a wide range of services targeted at promoting bilateral trade, investment and joint ventures between the UK and Turkey.

Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs - The site where you can find information about recent foreign policies.

World Trade Organization - WTO is an organization for trade opening. It is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. It is a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules. Essentially, the WTO is a place where member governments try to sort out the trade problems they face with each other.

European Commission’s Directorate General /Turkey - The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade helps through the EU’s trade policy to secure prosperity, solidarity and security in Europe and around the globe. We support the EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and the whole of the European Commission in shaping a trade environment that is good for people and for business.

The World Bank / Turkey - The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. Their mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.

Fita / Turkey - FITA  fosters international trade by strengthening the role of local, regional, national and global associations that have an international mission. FITA provides resources, benefits and services to the international trade community and useful tools to help you do business globally.

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Author:Umut Yildirim

Umut Yildirim is a business contributor to Globial Talks Business. his passions include the economy, world issues, and global trade.

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