An economy that’s thriving and a young, vibrant society make Turkey a desirable destination for business. A skilled and inexpensive workforce and a strong manufacturing heritage add to its attraction.
Covid-19 latest information
This guide is an accurate reflection of the pre-Covid-19 business environment in Turkey. Please note that due to the current situation, some circumstances may have changed in this country. Figures and data in the guide were last updated in August 2020.
With a base in Turkey since 1990, HSBC offers banking services to businesses and individuals, combining in-depth local knowledge with global expertise. That means we’re well positioned to help you take advantage of the many opportunities Turkey can offer.
Turkey is a gateway destination, linking East and West. Significant investment in infrastructure and a desire to improve trade connections are at the heart of Turkey’s politico-economic strategy. The opening of its first mega airport and future plans to grow capacity are part of the ambition to turn the country into a strategic hub for Europe, Asia and Africa.
HSBC can help you and your business capitalise on these ambitions. We provide a comprehensive range of local and cross-border financial services to suit both your personal and business needs, whether you are moving to the region, working in the area, or purely investing or doing business in Turkey.
I look forward to welcoming you to Turkey.
Head office address: HSBC Bank A.S., Esentepe Mah. Buyukdere Cad. No:128 Sisli-Istanbul 34394
1 Central Intelligence Agency, 2020,
2 World Bank Group, 2019,
3 World’s Top Exports, 2019,
4 Trading Economics, 2020,
5 Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Investment Office, 2019
The following metrics give a comprehensive overview of Turkey’s competitiveness on a regional and global scale.
Turkey is well positioned between Europe and the Middle East and has an historic pedigree as a trading nation. The country straddles the continents of Asia and Europe, giving it a unique location and perspective. Able to access the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas, trade comes naturally to Turkey.
Investment in infrastructure
Turkey’s strategic location between East and West makes it a key component of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the country is investing heavily in new transport infrastructure projects across road, rail and air travel.
Turkey boasts the youngest and fastest-growing population in Europe. A growing number of graduates have raised education levels significantly in the last decade. Although it remains below the OECD average, enrolment rates are high and rising. A similar pattern is seen in rising participation in secondary education, with growth in enrolment rates the highest amongst OECD countries.
Growing consumer class
With a population of over 80 million and a growing middle class, Turkey represents a strong opportunity for businesses trading in consumer goods. Increases in employment opportunities and a corresponding rise in incomes has seen Turkey become an upper-middle-income country.
Strong economic growth
Since 2000, Turkey has enjoyed strong economic growth, creating rising urbanisation and leading to a decline in poverty levels and growing social development. Recent economic decline, with growth slowing down and inflation increasing, is a near-term risk. However, the signs are that positive growth is set to return in the long term.
With its advantageous position, straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey is a strategic trading location, offering opportunities for investors.
Turkey plays a unique role in global trade. Bordering several European and Asian countries, Turkey links Europe with the Middle East and Asia. Its history has fostered links with both European countries and traders in the Middle and Far East and in today’s global world, it is an ambitious, forward-thinking nation investing significantly in a modern future.
Infrastructure investment and growing foreign interest have seen Turkey’s fortunes improve in recent years. Transport connections both within the country and connecting it globally have been enhanced, including the creation of a new air transport hub in Istanbul that significantly increases passenger capacity.
Capitalising on its East-West location, Turkey aims to become a key energy transport hub. Turkey has the capacity to transport 121 million tons of oil (representing 3% of global annual oil consumption) to world markets per year. Plans to grow this include the development of new pipelines and the opening of a Southern Gas Corridor for Caspian and Middle Eastern gas, allowing gas exports to the EU.
Istanbul is the only world city to sit across two continents – Europe and Asia – divided by the Bosporus.
Read on to discover more about the dos and don’ts of doing business in Turkey and how trading in or with the country could help boost the future growth of your business.
Before moving to Turkey, you must apply for a work/residence visa from your local embassy. Document requirements and fees are subject to change (and often do), but up-to-date information on requirements is available from the embassy.
Since the referendum in 2017 and the presidential election in 2018, Turkey has moved from a parliamentary to an executive presidential system of government. A failed coup in 2016 led to a State of Emergency being declared, which expired in 2018. Involvement in the Syria conflict continues to create global economic impacts.
Lengthy judicial processes around contract enforcement and bankruptcy, as well as long bureaucratic procedures within state mechanisms, are all challenges in Turkey.
Paying taxes can be a demanding task; with some 15 tax payments required each year and a number of non-standard taxes applicable.
1 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2019,
2 TMF Group, 2019