Turkey – Crossroad of Opportunity

June 9, 2009
I recently attended an overview of the economy in Turkey hosted by the Consulate General of Turkey here in Chicago. Many of our clients routinely lump their Middle East activities in with their European structure and management teams. While this may make some geographic sense it can lead to misconceptions and missed opportunities.

Turkey alone represents a unique opportunity for any organization committed to building a presence in a market situated between and within multiple markets – Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Some of the eye opening facts about Turkey include:

  • 15th largest economy in the world; sixth largest in the EU.
  • Highest growth rate among OECD countries for the last six years.
  • 63 million mobile users (in a country of 77 million people)!
  • 11th largest internet user population in the world.
  • World’s 4th largest Facebook user population!
  • 6th largest automotive manufacturer in Europe.
  • Largest bus manufacturer in Europe.
  • Europe’s largest television exporter.
  • Turkey is expected to transport 10% of the world’s oil and gas supply when on-going projects are completed.

While trade volume with the United States has almost doubled since 2004, the USA still ranks behind Russia, Germany and China as a supplier to the local Turkish market. It may be time for more US companies to re-think their strategy when it comes to Turkey.