Interview with the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Finland, M. Vakur Erkul


Jukka Kuusala, Chairman of the Board, Finland-Turkey business association:

Turkey is an essential trading partner both directly and indirectly for Finland. Its geopolitical location between Europe and Asia, as well as near Africa, makes it a great gateway for Finnish companies to enter new markets.
Finland-Turkey business association was founded more than 50 years ago to be a networking place for companies and individuals having interest in trade between Finland and Turkey. Both export and import is included.
It is our main purpose to bring added value for our members in the scope of Turkish business. You are most welcome to join the association and get together with the large network in this interest area.
It was our great pleasure to have the Turkish Ambassador, H.E. Mr Mehmet Vakur Erkul as our guest of honour at our event in March. Attached please find the interview comments from the event.

Economic outlook of Turkey today – and what are the prospects for the country?

Turkish economy is among the largest economies in the world. Its strength and flexibility in addition to the growth potential are remarkable. We have a large economic potential and a young population. We are located at the crossroads of trade between the East and the West and between the North and the South. We are an energy hub, many gas and oil pipelines go through Turkey. We have an extensive network of Embassies, consulates and trade offices all over the world, which provide services and guidance for our entrepreneurs. Turkish construction companies are ranked second in the world. They have built seaports, airports, conference centres, hospitals, bridges etc. in over 83 countries by getting tenders for over 190 billion US dollars. In short, Turkey always presents great potential and bright economic future. Sustainable growth of the economy is one of the main targets of Turkey.


What kinds of business opportunities are there for Finnish companies in Turkey?

Relations between Finland and Turkey were established on solid foundation from the very beginning. Economic and commercial relations always constitute one of the most crucial aspects of the existing bilateral relations. Both economies are located on important trade routes. They are complementary in nature and offer important and valuable opportunities for each other to cooperate on all fields for mutual benefit. We count on wide pellet of opportunities that lies in front of the business community. We need to work more to raise the level of interest shown by business communities towards one other in order to activate the potential in this field.


Please, also explain us, what kinds of investment opportunities are there for Finnish companies in Turkey?

Turkey presents numerous investment opportunities with its 82 million population, large market, dynamic economy and growth potential. Current trade structure may give an immediate insight in this perspective.

Finnish investors can get benefit from Turkey’s good industrial infrastructure, well-educated work force as well as developing market potential.

Moreover, we believe that there are numerous trade and investment opportunities and alternatives for Finnish companies aiming not only Turkish market but also the third countries, namely Africa and Asia, through co-operation by joint ventures or any other form of business with Turkish companies.


If a Finnish company decides to invest in Turkey, what are the most important issues this enterprise must take into its consideration to succeed in the market?

Turkey is a rapidly developing country presenting valuable opportunities at any time. The development pace of the Turkish market requires rather quick action. Therefore, we would recommend that companies act quickly to benefit from the full potential of any investment ideas.


What kind of assistance and what kinds of benefits are there in Turkey for Finnish companies that would like to invest in Turkey.

Turkey is always open to the foreign investors. There are many organizations to assist investors for their needs. For example, the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Investment Office is the official organization for promoting Turkey’s investment opportunities to the global business community and providing assistance to investors.

Moreover, investment incentives and many other supports like R&D are worth consideration due to its benefits and advantages for Finnish investors. In addition, Turkish embassy in Helsinki is here to assist business people with their investment ideas in Turkey.


Please, explain us, how has Turkey benefited from free trade agreements?

Turkey established customs union with the EU in 1996. From that date on, Turkey seeks to sign free trade agreements (FTA) in line with its EU commitments. So far, 25 FTA agreements have been signed with various countries. FTA negotiations are continuing currently with 17 country and country groups.

FTAs offer significant potential for the development of Turkey’s bilateral trade relations. Finnish investors in Turkey can also benefit from these agreements.


We know Turkey as a great holiday destination for Finns. Please, tell us more about the tourist attractions and holiday resorts in your country.

We are always pleased to host Finns in our country. Turkey has a huge number of historical, cultural and natural sites worth visiting. Therefore, it is hard to propose a list. Ruins of Troy, Ephesus, Göreme National Park in Cappadocia, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque… These are just the first ones that come to my mind. We have over 50.000 registered historical sites ranging from the Sumerians to the Hittites, from the Ancient Greeks to Romans and Byzantine Empire, from Seljuk’s to Ottomans just few to mention.

Another “must visit” site is Göbeklitepe. 2019 has been declared as “the year of Göbeklitepe”. Göbeklitepe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 12000 years old, considered as the world’s oldest temple. It predates the Pyramids in Egypt by 2000 and Stonehenge by 6000 years.

Besides all these, we also have our Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea coast for all those who want to spend some time in the sun.

We are renowned for our excellent tourism infrastructure and hospitality, and last year over 41 million tourists have followed that call. If you have not done so yet, I recommend visiting Turkey to experience scenic beauty and natural splendour as well as the richness of its history and culture.


Buyer Mission Programs in 2017, in Turkey


We have the pleasure to inform you that, Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Economy will be organizing a “Buyer Mission Programs” in 2017, in connection to the important fairs and trade events in Turkey.

Company representatives who are entitled to purchase from foreign companies are kindly invited to participate the “Buyer Mission Program” to all event as well as  professional organizations to  the specified events .


Concerning the program, we would like to take attention for the followings:

–  Buyer Mission Programs roughly include general briefings, bilateral meetings with manufacturers and visits to the fair stands or/and production facilities.

– Accommodations at the hotel including breakfast will be financed by Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Economy.

– It is required that, company representatives are in positions of decision making and preferably communicate in English (or French/German)

-In case of decision to participate to the program we kindly request from the participant to inform us about his/her interested products and, to follow the program schedule and avoid decision changes just before the event as much as possible.

– The companies who has representative offices in Turkey or are participated to the same event by the organization of the Ministry of Economy before are not encouraged.

We hope to be informed about participating companies along with the attached application form not later than 03 March 2017.

– Program

– Application Form




Visitors from Çanakkale were interested in Finnish construction and forest industries

Members of the Çanakkale Chamber of Commerce and Industry paid a visit to the Finland Chamber of Commerce on 12th October 2016. They spent three days in Finland and met with representatives of construction and forest industries. Finnbuild, the International building and building services fair was also included in their programme.turkki-iv

Çanakkale is located on the southern shore at the narrowest point in the Dardanelles strait, which is one of the two major water passages connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

The key business sectors in Çanakkale are agriculture, tourism, construction, mining and forestry. The region is known for its fruits and vegetables, husbandry, production of milk as well as milk and water products. Furniture and processing of wood products and construction of houses and public buildings are also among main business sectors in the region.

There are plans to build the 1-Ezine food organized industrial zone with production facilities for milk, cheese and other products, which are well-known in Turkey. The Çanakkale Bosphorus Bridge will connect villages of Sütlüce in Gelibolu and Şekerkaya in Lapseki. It will be built by 2023. Investments in renewable and geothermal energy, production of automotive spare parts and facilities for food productions are welcome in the region.

Çanakkale is one of the most important cultural centres in Turkey with unspoiled nature and historical attractions such as Troy (Truva), Assos (Behramkale) and Gallipoli (Gelibolu). Tourists can enjoy yacht tours, different forms of water sports and dainties of the Turkish cuisine in Çanakkale.

Written by Anne Hatanpää, Finland Chamber of Commerce


Ajankohtaista Turkista

*Suomen suurlähetystö, Ankara 5.8.2016: “Turkin taloustilanteesta heinäkuun vallankaappausyrityksen jälkeen

*Taloussanomat 18.7.2016: “Suomalaisyritykset odottavalla kannalla Turkissa – “On mahtunut ylä- ja alamäkiä”

*Helsingin Sanomat 19.7.2016: “Turkin talous saa nyt iskuja – euron vahvistuminen suhteessa liiraan hyödyttää matkailijoita

*MTV 22.7.2016: “Yritykset seuraavat Turkin kriisiä: “Turkkilaisten kontaktit ovat kultaakin arvokkaampia”

*Finpro 17.5.2016: “Tekstiili- ja muotialan hankintamahdollisuuksia Turkissa

*Team Finland Turkilla on twitter-tili @TeamFinlandTR ; https://twitter.com/TeamFinlandTR.
Team Finland -eritysasiantuntija Ankarassa, Arto Mankinen, bloggaa aktiivisesti Turkista erityisesti talouteen liittyen ulkoministeriön blogialustalla https://blogit.ulkoministerio.fi/ankara/author/artomankinen/


OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey 2016

OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey 2016

This 2016 OECD Economic Survey of Turkey examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapters cover: Strengthening manufacturing and Participating in global value chains.



Turkin kasvavat markkinat tarjoavat mielenkiintoisia mahdollisuuksia

K3 viestintä

Turkki on tuttu suomalaisille sekä turistikohteena että kauppakumppanina. Viimeaikainen kuohunta maan sisällä on kuitenkin herättänyt kysymyksiä paitsi maan talouden tulevaisuudennäkymistä, myös yleisestä turvallisuustilanteesta. “Toivottavasti marraskuun vaalien jälkeen uusi hallitus saadaan nopeasti muodostettua”, toteaa suurlähettiläs Vaskunlahti.

”Syksyn vaalit ovat erittäin tärkeät ja kansainvälinen yhteisö seuraa niitä tarkasti. Ne tulevat määrittelemään Turkin suunnan seuraavien muutaman vuoden aikana”, kertoo suurlähettiläs Nina Vaskunlahti. Hän viittaa marraskuuksi aikataulutettuihin uusintavaaleihin, jotka joudutaan järjestämään kesän vaalivoittajien hallitusneuvotteluiden kariuduttua.

Myös elinkeinoelämä odottaa kiihkeästi uusia vaaleja ja on ilmaissut tahtonsa pikaisen hallituksen muodostamiseen.

”Tällä hetkellä elinkeinoelämä pidättelee hengitystään. Kuten muuallakin maailmassa ennen vaaleja, muodostuu tietynlaista jännitystä, mikä puolestaan heijastuu entistä varovaisempana kulutuksena. Mitä nopeammin koalitiohallitus saadaan muodostettua, sen parempi”, kommentoi Suomen kunniakonsuli Istanbulissa, Jeff Hakko.

Viimeaikoina Turkista kantautuneet uutiset ovat aiheuttaneet huolta laajemmin kuin vain liikemiesten keskuudessa. Moni miettiikin, onko Turkkiin turvallista matkustaa.

”Hermostuneisuutta on ilmassa, mutta olen korostanut että maahan voi matkustaa kunhan noudattaa yleistä varovaisuutta ja tervettä järkeä. En erityisemmin suosittele matkustamista esimerkiksi Syyrian vastaiselle rajalle”, kertoo suurlähettiläs Vaskunlahti.

Vilkas väestönkasvu takaa kasvavat markkinat

Turkki on monella tapaa suomalaisille mielenkiintoinen liikekumppani. Ensinnäkin maalla on tärkeä geopoliittinen sijainti Euroopan ja Aasian välisenä porttina. Strategisesta sijainnista on ollut hyötyä, kun lentoyhtiö Turkish Airlines on kasvanut yhdeksi alan tähtiyrityksistä. Se lentää satoihin kohteisiin ympäri maailmaa, käyttäen Istanbulia lentoliiketoimintansa keskuksena.

Toiseksi, Turkin kasvava väestö takaa laajan potentiaalisen asiakaskunnan tulevaisuudessakin. Turkin liki 80 miljoonasta asukkaasta noin puolet on alle 30-vuotiaita. Ostovoimaisia, koulutettuja ihmisiä siis tulee jatkuvasti lisää kuluttajamarkkinoille.

Eurooppaa ravistellut taantuma ei ole iskenyt yhtä voimakkaasti Turkkiin, vaan maan talouden ennustetaan jatkavan vajaan 5 % vuosittaista kasvuaan jatkossakin. Turkki on maailman 17. suurin talous, ja sen arvellaan kirivän 14. suurimman joukkoon lähivuosina.  Viimeaikainen poliittinen kehitys on tosin heijastunut niin talouskasvuun kuin maan ulkoiseen kuvaan.

Kunniapääkonsuli Jeff Hakkon mukaan erityisesti viisi elinkeinoelämän aluetta tarjoavat potentiaalia suomalaisyrityksille: cleantech, koulutussektori, innovaatioteknologia, design ja lääketeknologia.

”Suomessa on yksi maailman matalimmista lapsikuolleisuusluvuista. Tämä kiinnostaa ehdottomasti Turkissa. Meille syntyy väestörakenteesta johtuen paljon lapsia, ja näin ollen on myös paljon lapsia, jotka tarvitsevat hoitoa”, hän toteaa.

Terveydenhoitoon sijoitetaan runsaasti varoja, sillä Turkissa on käynnissä lukuisia sairaala- ja terveyskeskushankkeita. Näihin etsitään osaamista aktiivisesti ulkomailta.

Kasvua povataan lisäksi terveysturismin sektorille. EU-kansalaiset voisivat matkustaa suopean ilmaston ja matalan hintatason Turkkiin kiireettömiin leikkauksiin ja hoito- tai paranemisjaksoille.

Turkissa on myös runsaasti potentiaalia bioenergian kehittämiselle. Maassa on vettä, aurinkoa ja tuulta, ja valtiolla on selkeä tahto edistää uusiutuvan energian käyttöönottoa. Turkin vesivoimakapasiteetti muodostaa Hakkon mukaan 16 % koko Euroopan vesivoimakapasiteetista. Myös aurinkoenergia vaatii suuria investointeja, jotta se pääsee koko potentiaaliinsa.

”Turkki on aina selvinnyt poliittisista ailahteluistaan ja niin selviämme tästäkin”, kunniakonsuli Hakko toteaa. ”Mielenkiintoisia hankkeita ja investointipäätöksiä on ilmassa, joten markkinoille kannattaa ehdottomasti hakeutua.”

Suurlähettiläs Nina Vaskunlahti sekä kunniapääkonsuli Jeff Hakko (Istanbul) puhuivat Suomalais-Turkkilaisen kauppayhdistyksen verkostoitumistilaisuudessa 27.8.2015.


Turkey, Finland sign Joint Economic and Trade Committee agreement

Turkish minister urges Finnish investors to seize opportunities in Turkey, and projected $300 billion in Turkish investment abroad over the next decade.

Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Finland’s Foreign Trade Minister Lenita Toivakka signed a Joint Economic and Trade Committee agreement on 4th of February.

The agreement is intended to boost bilateral trade and investment. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zeybekci said that  Turkey plans to make investments worth at least $300 billion over the next decade, and urged Finnish companies to increase their investment inTurkey.

Turkey has attracted foreign direct investment worth about $140 billion, Zeybekci said.  “Overall, direct investment of Finland in  Turkey is approximately $300 million. We invite Finnish investors toTurkey.” Zeybekci said.

Finland’s Foreign Trade Minister Toivakka said that the new agreement is a critical step to boost cooperation and trade ties between the two countries. Both Turkey and Finland recognize that small- and medium-sized enterprises are important elements of the economy. Toivakka noted the importance of cooperation between smaller companies in each country.

Anadolu Agency