Turkey : A World of Opportunities – 61 Whitehall, London 26 October 2011
The UK’s Middle East Association held a conference on ‘Turkey: A World of Opportunities’ on Wednesday 26th October at Sixty-One Whitehall, London, in partnership with UK Trade & Investment. It was attended by around 100 business representatives including a strong delegation from Turkey. I was one of the attendees also helped the team about organization and arranged a photo shoot for the conference. The conference was sponsored by VARYAP GAP iNŞAAT, with the CEO of VARYAP, Mr M Erdinç Varlibaş, amongst the speakers.
Keynote addresses were given by HE Mr Ünal Çeviköz, Turkish Ambassador to the UK, Lord Marland, Chairman of the UKTI Business Ambassador’s Group, and Mr Mehmet Ceylan, Turkish Deputy Minister of Development.
They highlighted Turkey’s rapid political and economic progress and its buoyant economy, now the world’s sixteenth and Europe’s sixth largest. They also underlined the strong commitment by both governments to strengthening UK/Turkish business links and the potential for further growth in bilateral trade and investment.
HE Mr Ünal Çeviköz said, “There are few other countries in the world which combine economic dynamism, financial stability and democracy as effectively as Turkey.”
Delegates heard about the various attractions for investors, such as Turkey’s political stability, liberal investment environment, large and youthful population, and customs union with Europe. It was noted that Turkey is forecast to be the third fastest growing economy in the world by 2017. Also highlighted were Turkey’s excellent transport infrastructure and its location as a hub connecting east with west, providing easy access to a 1.5 billion market in Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa.
The conference also covered the outlook for Turkey’s economy; the financial and regulatory environment and the impact of Basel 3; developments in the energy sector and Turkey’s growing role as a regional energy transit hub. A session on real estate and infrastructure highlighted some of the ambitious projects which are set to enhance Turkey’s international status, such as the Istanbul Financial Centre and major transport projects.
Speakers drew attention to the dynamic and entrepreneurial nature of Turkish companies, their role as major players in the global marketplace and the increasing openness to international partnership and investment. British companies were urged to work in partnership with Turkish companies to exploit the opportunities not only in Turkey itself, but also in third markets.