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British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey

(BCCT) is a non-profit organization, established in 1887, that aims to support and promote business relations between Turkey and the UK.
Summary

The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) is the world's second-oldest British Chamber established abroad, and it offers a range of business services to promote networking and B2B matchmaking in the Turkish market. By connecting Turkey's dynamic economy with the UK's value-added economy, the BCCT helps businesses from both countries establish long-lasting, mutually beneficial deals. 

The chamber partners with the UK government to provide a variety of free and chargeable services that support UK businesses in gaining a better understanding of the Turkish market, as well as providing high-value networking and partnership opportunities in Turkey. 

Since 2014, BCCT has served more than 700+ UK clients, has delivered hundreds of market-related services, and has contributed to export wins totalling more than GBP 75 million.

It offers market information, market access, event management, and many other services in cooperation with our extensive business network and through our partnership with 14 local chambers of commerce in the most dynamic cities of Turkey, which themselves cover more than 800,000 enterprises in the country.


History

The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) was established in Istanbul in 1887. The chamber was created to facilitate trade and investment between Turkey and the UK, which had long-standing economic ties dating back to the Ottoman Empire. In its early years, the BCCT played a vital role in promoting British exports to Turkey, particularly in the areas of textiles, machinery, and shipping.

During the late 19th century, the BCCT organized various events and activities to support the interests of British businesses in Turkey. These included trade missions, exhibitions, and networking events, which provided valuable opportunities for British companies to connect with potential Turkish partners and customers. The chamber also lobbied the Turkish government on behalf of British businesses, advocating for policies that would support their interests and promote a favourable business environment in the country. As a result of these efforts, the BCCT became an important institution for British businesses operating in Turkey, and its membership grew steadily in the years leading up to the turn of the century.

During the early 1900s, the chamber expanded its operations to other major Turkish cities, including Izmir and Bursa, to better serve the needs of British businesses operating in these regions. The BCCT also developed close ties with local Turkish business associations, helping to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

In the years leading up to World War II, the BCCT faced significant challenges due to the turbulent political and economic conditions in Turkey. However, the chamber continued to operate throughout the war years, providing essential support to British businesses in Turkey and facilitating trade relations between the two countries. Following the war, the BCCT played an active role in the post-war reconstruction efforts in Turkey, promoting investment and trade between the UK and Turkey to support the country's economic recovery. The chamber also expanded its membership and services in the post-war years, establishing itself as a leading institution for British businesses operating in Turkey.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the BCCT played an important role in the liberalization of Turkey's economy, promoting foreign investment and helping to create a more business-friendly environment in the country. The chamber collaborated closely with the Turkish government and other business associations to support economic reforms and enhance the country's competitiveness. The BCCT also modernized its own operations during this period, adopting new technologies and expanding its membership to include more diverse sectors of the economy. Today, the BCCT remains a vital institution for British businesses operating in Turkey, providing essential services and support to promote bilateral trade and investment.

In the early 2000s, the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) continued to expand its services and activities to support the evolving needs of UK-Turkey business relations. The chamber established new partnerships with Turkish business associations, created specialized committees to focus on key sectors such as energy, finance, and technology, and developed a range of new programs and initiatives to enhance its services to members. The BCCT also played a critical role in promoting Turkey's candidacy for EU membership, advocating for reforms to support Turkey's accession process and highlighting the benefits of EU-Turkey trade and investment.

In recent years, the BCCT has continued to be a leading advocate for UK-Turkey economic relations, providing valuable support and services to British businesses operating in Turkey and Turkish companies seeking to expand their presence in the UK. The chamber has also responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting its activities and services to meet the changing needs of its members, providing virtual events and resources to support business continuity and recovery. Today, the BCCT remains a key player in the promotion of UK-Turkey trade and investment, bridging the dynamic Turkish market with the UK's value-added economy to create long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships.


Goals and Purpose

Facilitating business networking: The BCCT provides opportunities for UK and Turkish companies to network, share best practices, and explore potential business partnerships.

Providing market information: The chamber offers a range of services to help UK companies better understand the Turkish market, including market research reports, trade statistics, and regulatory information.

Supporting market access: The BCCT works to help UK companies gain access to the Turkish market by providing advice on local business practices, legal and regulatory requirements, and other aspects of doing business in Turkey.

Advocating for policy change: The chamber advocates for policies that support the growth of UK-Turkey trade and investment, including efforts to reduce trade barriers, improve infrastructure, and enhance the business environment in both countries.

Providing business services: The BCCT offers a range of business services to its members, including event management, translation and interpretation services, and access to business facilities in Turkey.


Impact

Increased bilateral trade: The BCCT has played a key role in promoting UK-Turkey trade by providing market information and facilitating business networking opportunities. As a result, bilateral trade between the two countries has grown significantly in recent years, with the UK becoming Turkey's second-largest export market.

The attraction of foreign investment: The BCCT has helped to attract foreign investment to Turkey by promoting the country's business environment and highlighting investment opportunities. Many UK companies have invested in Turkey as a result of the chamber's efforts.

Support for business growth: The BCCT provides a range of services to support the growth of UK and Turkish businesses, including access to market information, business facilities, and other resources. This has helped many businesses to expand their operations and create new jobs.

Advocacy for policy change: The BCCT has been an important advocate for policies that support UK-Turkey trade and investment, and has worked to reduce trade barriers and improve the business environment in both countries.

Strengthening of UK-Turkey relations: The BCCT has played a key role in strengthening UK-Turkey relations by promoting cultural exchange and facilitating business partnerships. This has helped to foster a greater understanding between the two countries and build stronger ties for the future.


References
British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey
Leadership team

Tibet Kara-Drabble (Secretary General / Trade Director)

Alan C. Mellaart (Vice Chairman)

Headquarters
Istanbul, Turkey
Region served
Turkey, the UK, and beyond
Year stablished
1887
Address
Süzer Plaza - Harbiye Mh. Asker Ocagi Cd. No. 6/113, Sisli, Istanbul, Istanbul 34367, TR
Social Media
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