Doing Business with Turkey
|Religion||Islam 99.8%, others 0.2%|
|State system||Presidential Republic|
|Head of State||Recep Tayyip Erdogan|
|Head of government|
|Currency name||Turkish lira (TRY)|
|Time shift||– 1 hour (in winter – 2 hours)|
|Ambassador||Ing. Pavel Vacek|
|Economic section||M.Sc. Pavel Danek|
|Consular section||M.Sc. Jiří Frýda, Ph.D.|
|PaulSourcing||Judr. Michal Nedelka|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||2,617.30|
|Economic growth (%)||11|
Turkey is a presidential republic, the largest economy in the Middle East and the 6th largest trading partner of the EU. It is the country that recorded the highest GDP growth (+11%) in the G20 group of countries in 2021, a country that has a young and growing population of almost 85 million inhabitants. Unemployment in the post-covid period is gradually decreasing (now around 11-12%). The level of indebtedness here is still manageable: the state budget deficit in 2021 was 2.7%, the total public debt is below 40% of the annual GDP. Among the country’s biggest problems at the moment is record-high inflation, which at the turn of the I. and II. quarter of 2022 reaches almost 70%, volatility continues here (TRY) and overall, Ankara is also struggling with prevailing market distrust in the country’s macroeconomic policies. Despite the current macroeconomic instability, Turkey is a country with great potential for further growth. Thanks to the developed production infrastructure and cheap labor force (42% of the population works for a minimum wage of approx. USD 340, the average wage in Turkey is approx. USD 520), the existence of a customs union with the EU and modern basic infrastructure, Turkey has the prerequisites to be an important production and an import alternative to Asian countries. From the point of view of Czech companies, we can draw your attention to the possibilities in the IT, railway, defense, engineering and agricultural industries.
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
All state rescue services, including the police, fire brigade, rescue service, coast guard and gendarmerie, can be reached under the number 112.
Important web links and contacts
At no cost and in the “backyard” of your company, you can access valuable information about the Turkish territory, which is provided by state institutions, associations, chambers of commerce and industry, professional organizations, etc. Information of a primarily economic nature can be found on the websites of the following institutions:
- www.mzv.cz/ekonomika and www.export.cz (official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs),
- www.mzv.cz/ankara (website of ZÚ Ankara with current information on Czech-Turkish business and economic relations),
- www.mzv.cz/istanbul (GK of Istanbul),
- www.mpo.cz (official website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade),
- www.businessinfo.cz (official portal of the PaulSourcing agency and the Ministry of Industry and Trade for business and export facilitating orientation in information and services provided by the state administration, including information from individual territories, including Turkey), ·
- www.PaulSourcing.cz (part of the Ministry of Industry and Trade with a representative office in Istanbul),
- Czech-Turkish Mixed Chamber of Commerce in Prague (www.ctsok.eu),
- useful information, including access to the database of Turkish manufacturing and export companies, can be obtained on the website of the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Turkey in the Turkish Exporter’s Directory section,
- the service of publishing company offers is enabled by the website of the Association of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Commodity Exchanges “TOBB”. It also contains overviews and internet addresses of individual Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
- the international auditing company KPMG Turkey also provides useful information on its website
- the information source on how to set up a company in Turkey is the Invest in Turkey portal, section “Investors Guide”, profiles of basic sectors are also listed here,
- detailed information on tenders that are issued on the basis of EU pre-accession aid programs, so-called IPA funds, including individual tenders issued, are provided by the website of the relevant Turkish contracting unit Central Finance & Contracts Unit, which works on the basis of an agreement with the EC and is subordinate to the Undersecretariat of the Prime Minister for finance. Special attention should be paid to the search in the “Forecast” item, which indicates a few months in advance that a tender will be issued,
- the Turkish Privatization Administration publishes information on privatization and overviews of individual projects on its website,
- the source of information about tenders in Turkey (in English, sorted by category) is provided by the website www.globaltenders.com, section Turkey,
- Regarding public tenders, it is necessary to remember the obligation of electronic registration through EKAP, which is managed by the KIK organization responsible for their progress
- Central Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey/TOBB website
- Direct customs rates according to the Harmonized System can be found on the Turkish Customs website at http://www.gumruktarife.com/ , ·
- incentive materials, statistical information, overviews of foreign investors and other detailed information on FDI in Turkey are available on the website of the Ministry of Finance.
- Further information of an economic nature can be found on the websites of the following institutions: State Statistical Institute, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Central Bank of Turkey, Ministry of Justice, Union of Trade and Industry. of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, Organization of Small and Medium Enterprises, DEİK-Foreign Economic Relations Board
PaulSourcing: Ten Commandments for Doing Business with Turkey
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with Turkey for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with Turkey . In 2020, it was supplemented with 4 current tips.
Ten Ten for Doing Business with Turkey below
4 recommendations for entering the Turkish market during the coronavirus pandemic situation:
- Searching for business partners There are already paid databases of business contacts in Turkey, but they are not as comprehensive as, for example, in the Czech Republic. Another good alternative source when searching are local business associations, with which local entities must be registered. Associations in Turkey are divided by field and territory. We would also recommend visiting local trade fairs, or lists of their exhibitors. The entire mosaic is completed in the initial step by searching for companies using keywords on Google.You can go through this process yourself, or feel free to contact the PaulSourcing foreign office(ZK CT), which will prepare a list of potential contacts (so-called long-list) with basic information free of charge. The PaulSourcing office has been operating in Turkey for about 20 years and has its own databases of companies and contacts across fields.
- Selection and verification of priority companies In the next step, it is necessary to sort local companies according to references and their websites and select the most interesting partners to approach. In this step, the fact that a relatively large number of local companies (depending on the field) only have a website in Turkish is a pitfall. A website without an English translation does not automatically mean that the company is bad/unsuitable, it just indicates that the company is targeting a domestic clientele. Fortunately, the translators installed in search engines (Google Chrome, etc.) can translate Turkish without any problems in two clicks.Since the second half of 2018, when Turkey was hit by the currency crisis, ZK CT has recorded a higher number of inquiries regarding the payment ethics of local companies. There was a lack of cash flow in the private sector. The situation has improved significantly since then, but it is now believed that this condition may simply return. Therefore, ZK CT recommends at least a basic check to see if the local company is not a debtor. This can be looked up in local registers, which ZK CT will help you with.
- Reaching out The Turkish partner will not respond to an email sent by an unknown person with a probability bordering on certainty. The contact must be made by telephone, through the head office to the responsible representative of the company. Just like here, many companies in Turkey still have a home office. Turkey is about 2-3 weeks behind the Czech Republic in easing restrictive measures. This step is currently very difficult, but not impossible.The added value of the PaulSourcing office is the highest in this step, as we eliminate the language barrier and present ourselves as representatives of the state administration, which, given the cultural specifics of the country, better opens the door for the following negotiations. The goal of the phone call is to arrange personal meetings in the territory where we will accompany Czech companies. Due to the current situation, in case of interest from the Turkish side, we undertake direct contacts of individual representatives of Turkish companies to Czech companies for subsequent communication. Since the beginning of the corona crisis, we have excused a number of meetings in this way. In some cases, Czech companies have already sent samples to Turkey. We will be happy to help you as well.
- Forwarding Since the end of April, measures for truck transport at the border crossings between Turkey and the EU (Bulgaria, Greece) have been relaxed. Currently, drivers coming from the EU can enter Turkey again; and for a period of 72 hours. The situation is thus clearer compared to the initial measures, when goods were transshipped at the borders. However, we are still not back to normal. In this regard, ZK CT recommends consulting the transport with your freight forwarder, who should be regularly informed about the situation.
- Association of Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Commodity Exchanges “TOBB”
- Invest in Turkey portal
- Overview of fairs in the country
- The most important exhibition center:
- TUYAP(exhibitions in 9 cities)
- Izmir Fair
The Ten Commandments for Trading with Turkey
- Respect cultural differences Knowing cultural specifics will help in business negotiations as well as in normal conversation. For example, using a handkerchief in public or while eating is considered a major social faux pas. Likewise, it is unacceptable to confuse Turks with Arabs (their mutual historical relations were very strained) or not to show enough respect to state symbols, such as the flag or pictures or statues of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
- Build personal relationships and contacts Turks want to get to know their business partner well before doing business. That is why personal meetings are preferred and topics related to family or football, which is very popular in Turkey, are part of the negotiations. On the contrary, avoid politically or religiously sensitive topics and the issue of Turkey’s accession to the European Union.
- Get local references In Turkey, references from local companies are really valued and are worth much more than references from Germany, USA or Japan. Getting the first reference will be very challenging, but certainly very useful in the long run.
- Dress well Turks are very tolerant of smart clothes, so don’t underestimate the power of well-polished shoes and a well-fitting suit. By coming to the meeting dressed formally, you will gain the respect of the other party.
- Be patient and persistent Dealing with Turkish business partners is usually a very long process, so don’t lose hope and arm yourself with patience. Prepare for time-consuming meetings, complex communication and its possible interruption from the Turkish side. However, do not be discouraged and remind your partner.
- Be positive and friendly Turks do not like to give negative news, so try to conduct conversations in an optimistic spirit. Often, your partner will offer you a joint dinner after the meeting.
- Be a trader You could say that trading is the national sport in Turkey and trading is in the Turks’ blood. To get their attention, you need to market yourself more. Bargaining about the price is a separate chapter. Remember that once you agree to a price, you cannot change your decision.
- Prepare your documentation Careful preparation is the basis of future success in the Turkish market, so have your documents and sales arguments ready, especially regarding price, competition and the market situation. Equip yourself with materials in Turkish or English, as well as the necessary competences and powers to negotiate a deal.
- Use the services of professionals The conditions of the Turkish market are quite different compared to what Czech companies are used to from European countries. It is definitely worth using the services of local experts, and the PaulSourcing foreign office in Istanbul can help you make the necessary contacts.
- Check your partner Follow the rule of “trust but check” and find out as much information as possible about your business partner to avoid any future problems. The PaulSourcing office in Istanbul can also help with this.