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JESSICA HAND


CONSUL-GENERAL IN ISTANBUL AND DIRECTOR OF UK TRADE & INVESTMENT IN TURKEY


Our woman in... As she nears the end of a four-year


posting, Jessica Hand refl ects upon her time in this fast-growing market


D


espite all the preparation, my fi rst impression on arriving in Istanbul was, ‘Wow, this is much


more advanced, vibrant and dynamic than I expected’. It is a reaction that I see frequently when British businesses come to Turkey for the fi rst time. They are stunned by the energy and business capacity in this market. Turks have business in their DNA


and they are good at it. They are fl exible and open to new contacts, companies and products. They appreciate quality and associate the UK with both high standards and reliability. The ever-changing city skyline in


Istanbul is testimony to the strength and 24 | springboard | www.ukti.gov.uk


growth of the economy and increasing confi dence and ambition. You can see the same pace of infrastructure development throughout the country, underlining government policy to boost connectivity and opportunity for the whole population. Over half of the population are under


30 and they are hungry for whatever is new, particularly in IT and telecoms – primarily to help them connect to the world and drive forward their lives, careers and businesses. We help companies of all sizes and


across all sectors. There are massive opportunities, not only for bilateral trade, but also for partnerships to work in third


markets in the region. There are strong synergies in some areas, such as the UK’s excellence in architecture, design and project management complementing Turkey’s unparalleled construction ability. Another opportunity is renewable


and sustainable energy, which isn’t fully developed here yet. Turkey has no oil or gas of its own and its natural strengths are in wind and sun. Pair this with the UK’s expertise in sustainable and renewable energy and there is massive growth potential in this area over the next 10 years and beyond. Companies keen to target Turkey


should pay attention to the style of doing business. Product or service quality is

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