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IE and SBF lead 20 companies to explore business opportunities in Georgia and Turkey

13 October 2014 [Istanbul, Turkey] - International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Singapore Business Federation (SBF) are jointly leading a 20-member strong business delegation to Turkey from today until 15 October. About half of the delegation had arrived earlier in Georgia on 8 October to explore business opportunities. The mission to Georgia and Turkey is held in conjunction with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official visit to Turkey. Both countries hold long-term growth prospects for Singapore companies, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

Amid global volatilities, Turkey's economy grew steadily at 4% in 2013, faster than the global growth rate of 3%1. With an established manufacturing base, vast infrastructure needs, strategic location as well as a young and rapidly-growing population, Turkey offers vast investment opportunities for Singapore companies. Key sectors that Singapore players can participate in are consumer electronics, medtech and infrastructure.

20 Singapore companies, including SMEs, are part of the delegation. The companies span a wide range of sectors, including consumer, chemicals and infrastructure. Today, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, will grace the Turkey-Singapore Business Forum discussing the rising opportunities in Turkey and how Singapore can participate. 
Consumer, Medtech Key Growth Sectors for SMEs in Turkey 
For Singapore SMEs, opportunities in Turkey's consumer electronics and medtech sectors enjoy the greatest potential. The consumer electronics market2 in Turkey increased 10% to reach US$12.4 billion in 20133. Total spending in the sector is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% from 2014 to 20184. Singapore SMEs such as Bluetree5, Trek 20006 and XMI7have tapped on the sectoral growth and made headway in the market. With IE Singapore's assistance, they have successfully partnered Turkish distributors to sell their products in key retail outlets/malls 

The Turkish medical device market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 8.5% from 2013 to 20188, as compared to a global CAGR of 6.6% from 2014-20199. This is driven by rising healthcare needs, including the expansion of healthcare facilities such as large city hospital complexes as well as rising health expenditure10. Turkey currently relies heavily on imports for medical devices. Singapore SMEs in this sector can consider Turkey as a new market for expansion. 
Turkey's mega infrastructure projects open doors along value chain 
Infrastructure is a key growth sector for Turkey's 2023 Vision to attract more foreign investments into the country. Mega projects in airport, shipping canal and real estate are opening up opportunities for Singapore companies along the entire infrastructure value chain. Such projects would be good track record for Singapore companies seeking to expand their footprints not only within Turkey, but also Europe and Asia. 

Mr Satvinder Singh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, IE Singapore said, "Turkey's development needs are areas that our companies, including SMEs, have the expertise to contribute to. Since IE Singapore's Istanbul Overseas Centre opened in 2012, we have actively sought to raise awareness amongst Singapore companies about the opportunities available in the US$820 billion Turkish economy across a range of sectors, from consumer to infrastructure. Turkey can also serve as a gateway for Singapore companies keen to venture into regional European or Central Asian economies given its strategic location."

Mr Teo Siong Seng, SBF Chairman, said, "Over the years, SBF observed a growing number of Singapore businesses from diverse sectors exploring opportunities in new emerging markets and Turkey is one of them. We have brought a strong business delegation from various industries. The diversity in representation affirms Singapore's strong interest and SBF is pleased to be able to help our members gain early market access into Turkey. This mission aims to better prepare them for the Turkey-Singapore FTA, which we hope will be concluded and come into force soon."
Appointment of IE Turkey Honorary Business Representative and Turkey-Singapore Business Forum Co-Chairman to drive economic collaboration 
To further drive further business collaboration with Turkey, IE Singapore has appointed Mr Ibrahim Suha Gucsav, Chief Executive Officer of Akfen Holding11, as Honorary Business Representative (HBR) for Turkey with effect from October 2014. An experienced professional in Turkey, Mr Suha Gucsav will act as an advisor to help bridge the gap between companies of both countries. Mr Suha Gucsav is also the Turkish Co-Chairman of the Turkey-Singapore Business Council (TSBC). Mr David Yang, Regional CEO of PSA Europe & Mediterranean, and the Americas, has also been appointed as the Singapore Co-Chairman of the TSBC. Under the leadership of Mr Gucsav and Mr Yang, the Council aims to promote further collaboration between Singapore and Turkish business communities in economic exchanges and social development. SBF is the Singapore Secretariat for the Council. 

2 Defined as the addressable market for computing devices, mobile handsets and video, audio and gaming products 
3 Business Monitor International (BMI) 
4 BMI Industry View 2014, Business Monitor, 6 August 2014 
5 Bluetree Technologies is a Singapore SME and the inventor of the Kube mp3 player with customisable skins 
6 Trek 2000 is a Singaporean technology company and the original inventor and patent owners of the ThumbDrive(R). It offers design solutions ranging from Mobile Media Solutions, Wireless, Anti-piracy, Compression and Encryption to sophisticated Enterprise Solutions all catering to the fast-changing digital industry
7 Founded in Singapore, Xmi Pte Ltd is a technology-driven company focused on bringing the latest wave of multimedia products to the global market. It has distribution networks in 80 countries
8 Healthcare Industry in Turkey, Deloitte, January 2014 
9 BMI, October 2014 
10 Espicom Industry View, Espicom, 27 August 2014 

4th Turkey-Singapore Business Forum, organised under the auspices of Turkey-Singapore Business Council

PM’s Lunch Dialogue with Turkish CEOs and the Singapore Business Delegation in Istanbul

Memorandum of Understanding signed between Alliance Group Holding with VSC Group and Gauthamma International at the inaugural Singapore-Georgia Business Forum

Networking dinner hosted by Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Ms Keti Bochorishvili

Site visit to Hyundai Turkey Factory at Kocaeli, Turkey

SBF’s business delegation with PM Lee Hsien Loong in Istanbul (Photo credit: PMO)

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