T urkey Exporters' Assembly (TIM) had its 23rd ordinary general assembly with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the 2015 export data, 35 companies which export most with regards to Turkey and their respective sectors were rewarded with plaques. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated: “In a time when there are serious problems with production and trade, one of the biggest shares belongs to our exporters. This community deserves every kind of respect and support.” TIM President Buyukeksi said: “We are selling more products even though we are in the dead center of a very problematic area.
Last year our export has broken 3000 records and formed a fifth of Turkish economy. Our 2023 goal is export worth 500 billion dollars and a 1.5 percent share from the world trade.” Buyukeksi asked for support from the government and President Erdogan in order to achieve the goals set for 2023 in 10 headings and went on: “Today is the day to break down the clogged bureaucracy, to set up new companies worth billions of dollars and to grow even faster for a stronger Turkey.” The highlights of the 10 requests made by Buyukeksi are: innovative entrepreneurship model that supports growth, updating the EU and Customs Union agreements, battling grey economy and cheap financing.
Turkey is today an important eporter with an ever increasing share in overall global trade. This is the result of the liberalization of the economy since 1980s, implementing free market policies, integrating the business, finance and laws®ulations infrastructure with the rest of the world. However, the real success story must be written by the Turkish companies and brands, since the major and fundamental components of a market economy are companies. Early republican era saw a slow but steady, rough but beneficial transformation from an agriculture-based economy to the establishment of first serious industrial infrastructure, creating value added and selling manufactured goods abroad. This was a grueling task, even agriculture itself was engaged in by obsolete means. Early republic was striving to modernize the agriculture to increase the yields and profit, while laying the foundation stones of today's enormous Turkish industry. Policy instruments and very policies themselves vary in accordance with the phase of economic development. Turkey in 20s, 30s and 40s had to implement certain policies to boost the growth and establish the new economic model. Eventually, import-substitution policy dominated the era between 40s and 80s. In middle 80s, Turkey, slowly at first but at gradually increasing pace, embraced a more liberal policy and free market economy with essential characteristics was consolidated. After this transformation, government's intervention would only be indirect and the main dynamism that drive the economy were the private sector. Companies enriched the economy of Turkey, especially in the second half of 90s Turkey's domestic trade activity was flourishing and enterprises were emerging everywhere, as well as first examples of Turkish giants managing to enter international markets. Second half of 2000s was a total success story for Turkish companies. As Turkish economy was proven resistant to global crises and fluctuations, pioneers of Turkish business entered various markets, seized opportunities caused by the global decline in the growth rates and trade volume, and consolidated their position in the most prominent and active markets across the globe. Export figures skyrocketed, several projects and supplementary actions boosted this success eventually, such as Turquality program and Turkey: Discover the Potential campaign. The new Turkey Brand marked a milestone and the beginning of a new era: Turkey had established a vast, diversified and robust industry, infrastructure, a stable economic model, all prerequisites were fulfilled, now it was the time to take it to another level, which requires sophisticated brand management. Turkey's brand awareness as a whole had a multiplier effect on all brands and revenues of Turkish companies. This new Turkey Brand was a strategic communicational tool to unite all the communicational assets of Turkey under the same identity and utilize it to contribute to the efforts of all Turkish brands that sell their products to foreign markets. Another important issue regarding the development of Turkish economy was the concentration of the industry around a relatively small region. İstanbul, Kocaeli and Bursa triangle was the core of nationwide industrial network, but especially in the last decade this started to change, Turkey is now having a geographically more homogenously spread industrial outlook. Kayseri, Konya, Gaziantep, İzmir, Ankara are emerging as new pioneers, as these cities has always been important centers of trade and production, in the last decade their performance increased more than average and exporting companies originate in these cities increased their share in the top 1000 exporters list by Turkish Exporters' Assembly. Having various and homogenously spread industrial centers is crucial to increase the effectiveness of trade. Turkey has the advantage of its unique geo-political position amongst three continents and surrounded by sea from three sides. Busy ports near Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea, highways and railroads leading to Asia and Europe; all enabling convenient trade with neighbors and further countries, far easier than many other competitor countries. When the manufacturing center is easily accessible to the ports , transport routes and destinations, freight costs decrease and Turkey gains the affordable price advantage. Turkey's brand positioning in short can be described as “high quality at affordable price”. Turkish products compete against other goods with this advantage, this is one of the fundamental reasons behind the success of Turkish companies in certain markets in which several other countries failed to establish themselves. Moreover, Turkey's racial ties with Central Asia, religious and cultural ties with Middle East and Eastern Europe grants Turkey another advantageous framework within Turkish brands operate without competition. Turkish Exporters' Assembly, in this regard, has been an active and leading player contributing a lot to the efforts of Turkish companies. Several projects such as Innovation Week events, İnnovaLİG, İnnovaTİM, spread the innovation culture and help the national progress to raise an innovative generation of human capital. Besides spreading the innovative culture, the institution grants various awards to successful brands, and rank them annually to create a friendly competition between Turkish brands to appear on the stage and have their achievements acknowledged. This positive motivation encourages Turkish firms to improve their efforts to meet requirements in various fields; sales figures, innovation, R&D, brand management, institutional culture and so on. This Top 1000 Exporters ranking, along with other rankings and data published by Turkish Exporters' Assembly, does not only encourage Turkish Brands, but also gives a valuable and precise insight for foreign investors and analyst who plan to invest in Turkey. Knowledge is vital for survival in the business world, these rankings, especially when annual reports accumulate to constitute a timeline, serves as a precious intelligence source. Inclining and declining companies, debut of successful enterprises, distribution of the companies throughout the cities and concentration of companies in certain cities, all give a clue for investors and economists. Turkish Exporters' Assembly, in this regard, acts as a leverage for all exporting companies in Turkey, from the smallest to the biggest. Established itself as a huge network of components of Turkish business circle, the institution is an agora where ideas thrive, is a bridge between the private sector and government, a pioneer on a global scale in terms of organization modelling, a mentor and guide that endorses entrepreneurs and small companies to grow and have their own success stories. The know-how accumulated in the institutional culture through the years has made Turkish Exporters' Assembly a fundamental component of Turkish commerce. The Outlook of the ranking demonstrates that Turkish automotive industry established itself as a prominent exporting industry. Various global giants have their production headquarters here and they enjoy the advantages Turkey offer, exporting to their target countries by bringing profit and investment to Turkey. Moreover, Turkish technology firms such as Vestel and Arçelik are among the top ten, which is a good indicator that Turkey is steadily expanding and improving its high-tech industry, which manufactures more value added.