27 September 2022

THE Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) which it is hoped will boost trade between the two areas.

Chairman Chris Gaunt OBE, of the BCCT met with Dr Ian Kelly in Hull and enjoyed a fascinating discussion around the complexities of political and economic issues currently facing the two long-standing trading partners.

Chris highlighted how his Istanbul based organisation came into being after the Crimean War in 1887 when the Turkish Chamber was set up to develop trade links with the UK.

Hull & Humber Chamber board member Kirk Akdemir, who runs AA Global Language Services from its Hull headquarters, hails from Turkey and visits Istanbul regularly. He is keen to see trade between the two countries expand.

Kirk said: “As someone who operates both in Turkey as well as the UK, I know how important Turkey presently is in the region and following next year's elections I believe it will become an even bigger player both commercially and politically. Especially during these challenging times following a pandemic, a war, and the inevitable economic crisis the world seems to be entering, it is encouraging to see BCCT and Hull & Humber Chamber making contact to strengthen relationships which I think will be extremely beneficial not only in current times but in the years to come.”  

Chris explained how the BCCT had always worked closely with UK diplomats who understood what the Chamber did out there, but changes to key British Government personnel meant that continuity could sometimes be difficult.

“It is critical to use the special long term relationships with the Chambers network to boost international trade and encourage exports further at this critical time in the world economy.

“The BCCT is an excellent bi-lateral Chamber and can do business with anyone it chooses. Like in Germany, all Turkish businesses are required by public law to be members of their local Chamber, so can exchange ideas and develop new commercial contracts with a wide variety of businesses”.

Chris exchanged views on how Hull’s football club might develop having recently been bought by Turkish businessman Acun llicali, who is very well known in Turkey and has various links to Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Chris also noted there would be an election in Turkey next year, which may be quite closely contested, as the opposition to the Government had recently become much stronger, especially in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

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