Exporting to Turkey

Turkey is a large and fascinating market with plenty of export opportunities for UK exporters. It is home to both large multinationals and local businesses with a strong entrepreneurial culture. Despite Turkey’s recent political and economic challenges, the country’s prospects are positive and there is room for growth.

Growing consumer base

Turkey is a rapidly developing and increasingly sophisticated market. It has a growing middle class and domestic consumer base of more than 80 million people. Turkey’s population is one of the youngest and fastest growing in Europe, predicted to reach nearly 87 million by 2023.

Strong commercial ties with the UK

Turkey and the UK have strong commercial ties. English is increasingly used for business, and Turkey has adopted European business ethics and modern management practices. Some of the UK’s biggest companies operate here including Vodafone, GlaxoSmithKline, BP, Marks & Spencer and HSBC. The country is also a popular holiday destination for British tourists.

Trade gateway

Turkey straddles both Europe and Asia and borders a range of countries. Its strategic location means it can act as a springboard for UK companies to do business in markets such as Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Businesses can get strong support from UK Export Finance.

Ease of doing business

43rd

out of 190 countries, World Bank 2019

Currency

Turkish lira

Business languages

Turkish

You may need a translator

GDP per capita

$9,350

2018, IMF, UK is $42,560

Economic growth

2.6%

2018, IMF

Time zone

GMT +3

Opportunities for exporters

Turkey and the UK have developed strong commercial ties, particularly in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, healthcare, technology, retail, defence and security, aerospace, and financial and business services. The Turkish government is investing significantly in a wide range of infrastructure projects, from nuclear power to road and rail.

Doing business in Turkey

Preparing to export

VAT

VAT rates vary between 1%, 8% and 18%.

Some product groups are subject to Special Consumption Tax (SCT) at different tax rates. Stamp duty also applies to a wide range of documents including contracts, agreements and payrolls.

You’ll find more information on taxes on the Turkish government’s Invest in Turkey website.

Standards and regulations

The Turkish Standards Institution is responsible for developing all kinds of commercial standards.

There are a number of Turkish regulatory institutions that specialise in different areas. Contact our team in Turkey or our strategic partner, The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, for help.

Intellectual property (IP)

We advise you to speak to an intellectual property lawyer as a first step if you think you need patent protection when exporting to Turkey.

Turkish IP legislation is considered to be in line with EU standards. A patchwork of laws and decrees was replaced with a single framework which is more modern, reliable and attractive to investors.

Operating in Turkey

Risks

Regulatory issues, bureaucracy and sudden changes to legislation and regulations may present challenges to businesses exporting to Turkey.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.