Population: 85.04 million (2021) World Bank
Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
Time: UTC+3 (TRT)
- Turkey is the world’s 20th largest economy in terms of nominal GDP (2020).
- Turkey’s resilient economy stems from a number of structural advantages, including the solid foundation of its Customs Union with the EU and its young population (both the youngest and fastest growing in Europe).
- Setting up a business has become easier in Turkey, with new initiatives to meet international standards making it a more familiar business environment; an increasing use of English for business purposes, a highly skilled workforce with affordable salaries and a comparatively low tax rate compared to regional neighbours.
- The UK-Turkey Free Trade Agreement signed in December 2020 locked in tariff-free trading arrangements.
- Turkey is working to strengthen Turkish industry’s digital transformation process, and projections are that 50% of the manufacturers in Turkey are planning to apply advanced digital technologies to manufacturing processes within the next 2 to 4 years.
- This creates opportunities for solution providers who provide products or services to support the application of new technologies to manufacturing, including the design of factory processes, and the control and optimisation of performance.
Aerospace and Space
- Turkey’s convenient location makes it a natural hub for the aviation sector. Many major markets are within a 4-hour flight distance making Turkey a key player in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market in the region.
- The Turkish Space Agency was re-established in 2021, with a mandate to develop greater capability in satellite technology, communications, and launch capability, opening up a range of opportunities to UK businesses.
- In terms of its agricultural land and value-add, Turkey’s ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for its agri-food industry.
- However, it ranks much lower (in 20s and 30s) for its productivity. This points to structural problems, which Turkey has to rectify if it wants to compete with other markets and feed its growing population.
- This presents opportunities for yield improving technologies in crop protection and production, precision agriculture and harvesting, along with animal nutrition and health.
- The automotive industry is one of the main drivers of Turkey's manufacturing sector, employing over half a million people. Turkey is the 5th largest vehicle producer and 2nd largest commercial vehicle producer in Europe.
- Turkey has stated that it aims to become the largest electric and autonomous vehicle producer in Europe and one of the top 5 in the world by 2030. According to projections by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Technology, more than 1 million electric vehicles will be on the roads by 2030 and charging infrastructure will grow very rapidly in the coming years.
- Turkey is also developing its own locally produced electric vehicle. The rapid transformation taking place offers real opportunities to UK businesses.
- Opportunities exist to provide policy consultancy support for the development of a creative sector roadmap for Turkey, including in the classification and measurement of the creative industries, designing tax incentives, and the IPR environment.
Defence and Security
- As a NATO member with the 3rd highest military budget after the USA and the UK, Turkey has a significant defence and security budget (currently estimated at $17.7bn ranking it among the largest defence budgets globally). It has hugely increased its indigenous industry, producing land, naval, air, weapon, missile, and electronic systems. In many instances it does this through working in partnership with global partners.
- There continues to be a strong appetite for joint ventures with foreign firms to build capability.
- There is a strong strategic UK-Turkey Defence relationship, which helps to foster collaboration and support the delivery of a significant pipeline of high-value projects.
Energy – Renewables and Nuclear
- Turkey has just announced its new National Energy Plan – setting ambitious targets for what their energy supply will look like by 2035. This presents some great opportunities for UK businesses, highlights of the targets are: Offshore wind - 5GW. Electrolyser - 5GW. Battery capacity - 7.5GW.
- Clean growth is a political priority for Turkey with demand from both the national government and the private sector. The UK is well-placed to provide technologies and services that Turkey lacks in renewables - especially in offshore wind, battery technologies, and hydrogen where Turkey is not self-sufficient. Turkish partners are looking for partnerships with UK businesses and access to these technologies.
- One immediate and pressing demand is for EV and battery technologies to meet Turkey’s industrial needs. Turkey is mid-way through construction of its first large scale nuclear power plant and has two further such projects in development. It is also interested in innovative nuclear technologies, such as small modular and molten salt reactors.
- The Turkish insurance market is still underpenetrated and shows growth potential along with other financial activities. InsurTech and verticals such as personal wealth management, budget management, risk assessment and compliance (KYC-AML), blockchain and open banking are the opportunity areas in the FinTech sector for UK businesses.
Healthcare and Life Sciences
- Turkey’s health expenditure has been growing rapidly since 2009. There is ongoing investment in large new public hospitals and a growing private healthcare sector.
- The medical sector is growing. This is creating demand in the medical technology and digital health sub-sectors. Patient management, monitoring and engagement systems/technologies are being sought. Private healthcare providers are particularly active in seeking new technologies to keep them competitive.
Infrastructure – Rail
- Turkey is transforming its rail transport infrastructure from conventional to high-speed systems, as well as expanding and improving its urban transport systems. A huge amount of investment is planned to improve north-south connectivity and the Trans-Asia railway connection.
- Large municipalities need for sustainable mobility solutions in urban areas has led to increased investment in public transportation and openness to innovative solutions. This is creating demand for design and planning consultancy services, as well as high-tech systems. Innovative approaches to finance are also sought.
Infrastructure – Water
- Turkey is a large market for water and wastewater solutions. Waste water treatment plants are expected to be rapidly expanded with 1501 new facilities. Opportunities exist in a wide range of areas.
- Turkey has very diverse mineral deposits due its complex geology. A major producer of industrial minerals, primary metallic minerals and lignite, Turkey ranks 10th in global mineral diversity.
- It is particularly rich in boron and natural stone reserves and has serious lignite and gold production.
- UK businesses have an excellent reputation with the Turkish mining industry and the UK is seen as a trusted supplier especially in electrical and safety equipment. There are also opportunities in exploration and geology, digital and satellite technology, and innovative equipment.
To learn more about the UK’s trade relationship with Turkey, visit hereopens www.gov.uk in a new tab and contact EECAN.ExportHub@fcdo.gov.uk to discuss the opportunities in the region.