Serenay Yilmaz: Flying the flag for British business in Turkey - Export Britain

Export Britain

Serenay Yilmaz: Flying the flag for British business in Turkey

Serenay Yilmaz, Business Manager, The British Chamber of Commerce Turkey

Serenay provides us with some great insights into working for the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey in the following interview:

What are the key developments in your country for UK exporters over the last 6 months?
Turkey has always been in UK’s radar as an emerging market. Its strategic and geographic location, entrepreneurial business culture, and growing economy provides significant potentials for UK companies that desire to do business in Eastern Europe, MENA and Central Asia regions by using Turkey as a hub. The general tendency in the last year or so has been towards regional expansion for UK companies that use Turkey as a central hub to do business in surrounding regions.

How many staff do you have?
10 people: 5 working on engaing UK exporters; 5 working on chamber-related areas like membership, sponsorship, events.

How many companies are members of your Chamber or network?
Currently 400 companies – consisting of Turkish, British and International companies from over 20 sectors.

What are the main markets in your country that are good/ripe for UK exports?
Turkey offers a wide range of opportunities for UK exporters. Currently sectors like, energy, oil & gas, healthcare, infrastructure, financial services, ports & airports have huge projects where UK companies can partner with Turkish companies and go into tender processes. Apart from these high scale projects, sectors such as consumer goods, education, life sciences, professional services, engineering, automotive, and technology are industries where opportunities exist for both UK investors and exporters.

What are the key barriers for companies exporting to your country?
Understanding the local dynamics is very important.  Although it business in Turkey abides by European business ethics and English is the second language after Turkish (in business), having a good understanding of local business etiquette is very important in doing business with Turkish companies. Furthermore, a good understanding of the intricacies of the local legal and taxation environments as well as having the right contacts are essential. BCCT is the first point of contact for UK businesses and can suggest the best way to approach the market to ensure that UK companies find a smooth landing instead of struggling on their own.

What support can your Chamber offer UK companies entering your market?

BCCT has been strategic partners with UKTI since 2013. In this framework, each focuses on a different set of sectors in order to make sure any UK company that approaches us finds the best answers and receives the best possible support in market whenever required.

Some of our services which UK companies benefit from are:

Market Overview, Sector Analysis
Facts on Turkey & Turkish Economy
Tariff & Customs Search
Market Visit Logistic Support
Government Relations – through UKTI
Market Research and Partner Search
Trade Delegation – Visit Arrangement
B2B Meeting Arrangement
Business Centre

Further Advice on:

Company Formation
Book Keeping
Legal  and Tax Advice
Notary and Translation Services
Relocation, Work Permits and Visa Facilitation
Language Course Support

How can UK companies’ access Chamber services?
Simply reach us through or email  our Business Services Team We reply to requests immediately.

Do you have any customer testimonais? 
On behalf of WHAT Architecture, I personally must give thanks to you, the BCCT and the UKTI for your warm hospitality in Istanbul: it was a purposeful and charming week. Your team made us feel very very welcome. We found the B2B meetings more useful and targeted to our needs in terms of how we met and the Koç dinner was awesome. We would welcome these missions as an annual event!!  Anthony Hoete, What Architecture

The B2B Networking event at the Pera Palace was very useful: well-organised with high quality networking seated one-to-one across. More of these type of events would be most welcome. Also, the dinner at the Rahmi Koc museum provided a great venue with a high quality guest list, good speakers, and excellent food. There was also the chance to network before and after the dinner. The whole week was superb, brilliantly conceived, organised and executed. » Nick Keith, Best Business English

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