UK important partner for Turkey: Lord mayor of London

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) – The U.K. is an important investor and partner for Turkey, said Charles Bowman, Lord mayor of the City of London.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of "How to do business with U.K." conference, Bowman said the U.K. wants to see Turkey's economy flourish.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) in cooperation with the Department for International Trade and audit and consulting firm Deloitte organized the conference in Istanbul, it announced on Friday.

The conference aimed to inspire new opportunities to increase cooperation between Ankara and London.

"Some 300,000 people of the half-million Turkish population living in the U.K. is based in London, and the strong commercial cooperation they had established is one of the greatest assets of both countries in their economies," Bowman said.

Christopher Gaunt, chairman of the BCCT, said that the momentum in the market would continue to increase for the investors with long-term cooperation plans.

Advising investors not to miss the long-term opportunities in Turkey, Gaunt added: "The strong foundation of Turkey offers the potential of new opportunities for growth."

Humphry Hatton, CEO of Deloitte Turkey, emphasized the strong relationship between Turkish and British companies.

He stressed that the U.K. supports the development of Turkish businesses to become recognized actors in international markets.

Judith Slater, the U.K. consul general to Istanbul, and Tamsyn Mileham, partner at the firm Dentons, also attended the conference.

During the conference, experts exchanged information about finance, tax structures and new business opportunities with the Turkish business world.

The BCCT — the second oldest British Chamber of Commerce outside the U.K. — was established in 1887, according to the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.

The value of Turkish annual exports to the U.K. was $9.6 billion in 2017, while the value of annual imports from the U.K. stood at $6.5 billion, according to the Turkish statistics authority.