CBI leads mid-sized firms on UK trade mission to Turkey
Business group joins minister at head of trip to build trade links between two countries
A group of mid-sized UK businesses visited Turkey on a trade mission led by the CBI director-general, John Cridland, and the trade and investment minister, Lord Green.
On the trade mission – the first of its kind – 30 companies including IPTV and hybrid/OTT innovator Amino Technologies, recyclables trader Black Country Metals and cycle manufacturer Brompton Bicycles gained the opportunity to build and strengthen links in a growing market.
See the latest news online from the Turkey trade mission
Read John Cridland's speech to Turkish business leaders (256KB)
Listen to BBC R4's report on the trade mission to Turkey (starts 27 mins, 30s)
Mr Cridland, pictured above with Andalou News Agency economy correspondent Gokhan Kurtaran, said it was essential for the UK’s exporters - particularly the mid-sized firms that are the focus of the CBI’s Future Champions campaign - to target countries such as Turkey.
“This trade mission breaks new ground, as the first one designed specifically for ambitious mid-sized businesses,” he said. “If we are to achieve the government’s ambition of doubling our annual exports by 2020 to £1trn, we must look beyond the BRIC countries to other successful, high-growth markets such as Turkey.
'Turkey has a dynamic, growing economy, with an increasingly aspirant middle class keen to buy the sorts of goods and services we excel at'- John Cridland
“Turkey has a dynamic, growing economy, with an increasingly aspirant middle class keen to buy the sorts of goods and services we excel at, such as construction, education and high-value manufacturing.”
Lord Green said: “This is an exciting mission, the first of its kind, that brings together the opportunity offered by Turkey, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and the export potential of the UK’s mid-sized firms.
“The Government has set a clear target to get another 100,000 UK firms exporting as a key part of driving economic recovery. Direct engagement with key figures from the government and business community will help break down barriers and foster understanding that will lay strong foundations for future trade and investment.”
The mission brings together the Department for Business, UK Trade and Investment and the CBI and their joint focus on helping to improve the performance of mid-sized businesses, announced as part of the Autumn Statement last year.
The CBI believes the UK’s 10,000 mid-sized businesses are a “forgotten army”, representing 0.2 per cent of all UK firms but accounting for a fifth of private sector output and employment. In its Future Champions report the CBI set out how, with the right conditions, MSBs could unlock up to £20 billion annual GDP in the next ten years.
The outcomes and experiences of this mission will help pave the way for future mid-sized business focused visits concentrating on key emerging markets.
Turkey is already an important partner for British businesses with trade currently worth more than £9 billion. Major British companies like BP, Tesco, Vodafone, and HSBC already have a strong presence in Turkey, but there is scope to strengthen this relationship further.