The first ever trade mission of its kind will see medium-sized businesses travel to Turkey on April 26-27 to boost links between UK and Turkish firms and will be led by Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green and CBI director general, John Cridland.
Lord Green said: “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 an understanding that will lay strong foundations for future trade and investment.”
The mission will involve 30 UK mid-sized businesses who will meet key figures from the Turkish government and business community. The UK companies that will be part of the mission include Amino Technologies, Black Country Metals and Brompton Bicycles.
Mr Cridland highlighted the need to look beyond the BRIC countries in order to achieve the government’s target of doubling UK annual exports by 2020 to £1 trillion. “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” he said.
The mission brings together the Department for Business, UK Trade and Investment and the CBI to focus on helping the 10,000 mid-sized businesses which according to the CBI’s ‘Future Champions’ report, could increase the UK’s GDP to £20bn in the next ten years.
Turkey is already an important partner for British businesses with trade currently worth more than £9bn and many major British companies like BP, Tesco, Vodafone, and HSBC already have a strong presence in Turkey, but the manufacturing presence is still relatively poor by comparison.
Commenting on the trade mission, Tony Burke assistant general secretary at Unite the Union said: “Trade trips are all well good and make the headlines. But they have to bring the investment in and be part of a coherent growth and industrial strategy, which is something this government is sadly lacking.”