Export Britain


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Largest city

Administrative divisions
81 provinces 

Turkish liraa (TRY)

783,562 km2

(2012) 74,724,269

Calling code

Official language

Latest Business Opportunities

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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Turkey requires:



Turkey is a major trading partner of the UK and has proved to be a very valuable market for many UK businesses. In recent years, Turkey has been one of the most exciting and fastest growing economies in Europe. Turkey is among the founding members of the OECD and the G20 major economies. Turkey has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade, investment and the privatisation of publicly owned industries. Turkey's economy is becoming more dependent on industry in major cities.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 8.5 2.6 5.1
Export of goods and services 6.4 13.0 8.0
Import of goods and services 10.9 -2.8 10.1
Inflation 6.5 8.9 5.2
Short-term interest rates (%) 8.4 7.8 8.4
Exchange rate (per £) 2.02 2.00 2.01
Population 1.2 1.2 1.1
Unit labour cost 10.0 6.0 1.0
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

GDP increased by only 0.2% on the quarter in Q3, although the level of consumer spending picked up for the first time in a year, another sharp fall in business investment was a heavy drag while net exports did not repeat their huge boost of Q2. A 0.6% rise in GDP in Q4, implying annual growth of 2.6% in 2012 is expected. The economy is forecasted to accelerate in 2013. The central bank has already pushed money market rates down from over 10% in June to less than 6%, and this is steadily being reflected in lower lending. 

Trade outlook

Turkey has recently been diversifying its trading partners; although around half of Turkey’s merchandise exports last year went to Europe (excluding Russia), there has been a notable increase in trade with the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia over the last decade. Germany remains the top market for Turkish exports with the UK close behind in second place. Exports to Europe as a whole (excluding Russia) are forecast to grow at a respectable pace however exports to Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be two of Turkey’s fastest growing trading routes over this period. Whilst key European partners will remain important, Turkey’s key import partners in the medium term are Russia, China and Germany, The UK constitutes 2% of imports into Turkey, with the share increasing steadily. 

SWOT analysis

Structural changes in the banking
retail & telecommunications sectors
Increase in FDI flows from global multinationals
Low domestic savings
Spillover from the European debt crisis
One of the world's 10 largest economies by 2023
EU accession candidate country
Free trade agreement with the EU – without full membership
Overheating economy
Growth too reliant on capital inflows
Prone to boom-bust cycles

Turkey's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • Coke & refined petroleum products
  • Utilities
  • Iron & steel


  • Aerospace
  • Ships, rolling stock etc

Fastest-growing exporters into Turkey

1 Mexico
3 Australia
4 India
5 Ireland
6 Vietnam
7 Saudi
8 Indonesia
9 Hong Kong
10 Malaysia

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

Turkey benefits from a great geographic position, which allows the economy to trade easily with both Europe and Asia, sharing a sizable part of the working day with each. The Turkish economy will be the second fastest growing economy in the world by 2018. The Turkish government has many incentive schemes to encourage inward investment at this time as it considers its second phase of the national plan for tourism opening up opportunities for UK businesses. A young growing population and EU funding mean there are opportunities for UK businesses in a variety of sectors including, airports, environment and water, education and training, financial services and ports.

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