Turkey’s economy and 2016 government action plan

The Turkish motor industry is in good shape... as UKTI prepares a market visit in February 2016

The strengths of Turkish business lie in areas such as civil engineering, manufacturing and construction. Italian engineering company Exergy’s has taken the lead and invested in a turbine production plant in Izmir to become the number-one supplier of geothermal power generation equipment in the country.

Exergy founder and CEO
 Claudio Spadacini said that Turkey would continue to be a primary market for his company. “Our focus is on the Turkish market but exporting to other countries from Turkey can be considered in the future,” he noted.

The Turkish motor industry in good shape. A January 2016 report on the Turkish Economy Outlook by the Ministry of Economy celebrated that automotive plants had rolled out 1,360,000 vehicles in 2015, according to the Automotive Manufacturers Association of Turkey. With 992,000 vehicles produced in Turkey going to export markets, the country broke records in both production (up by 16 per cent year on year) and exports (up by 12 per cent).  

The chairman of the Automotive Manufacturers Association of Turkey, Kudret Onen, forecast even higher figures for 2016. The association’s data ranked Turkey 1st in commercial vehicle production and 7th as automotive producer in Europe, and 16th in the world. Turkey is home to Ford, Fiat, Hyundai, Renault, Toyota, and Honda among other automotive companies.

In December, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu unveiled a 2016 action plan with new measures ranging from reducing costs in organized industrial zones to easing licensing procedures for investors. 
“Obtaining energy permits and licenses will be made easier, while company establishment procedures will be more streamlined,” he said. “A new patent law will be introduced in accordance with the reform package pertaining to science, technology and innovation.” Land costs in organized industrial zones will also be reduced. 
The plan also gave new powers to regional development agencies.

 

Commercial ties between Turkey and the UK

As UKTI south east prepares a market visit at the end of February,  there is a strong relationship between Britain and Turkey; bi-lateral trade, currently at around $12-13 billion, is growing. While some 65% are exports from Turkey to the UK, a promising shift came in 2014 when Ülker bought United Biscuits.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey (BCCT) has more than 400 members, including big British investors in the country, such as Unilever, BP, Vodafone, Shell, and HSBC. Their presence on the Board shows that the Chamber has “serious experience and knowledge” available for UK companies, says Chris Gaunt, the chairman.

The Chamber works very closely with UKTI in Turkey, and has links with 14 of the biggest Turkish chambers, helping to create a wider network for British businesses to explore beyond Istanbul. It sometimes seems to me that Britain, once the great global traders, really has lost its trading mojo, but the upcoming UKTI mission to Turkey offers a chance to rediscover it.

 

Never mind the traffic ... the motor industry in Turkey is thriving

How to communicate best in English

How we express ourselves in English has always been important. After all, English is the language of business

Do you wonder about the best ways to communicate with people? Meeting face-to-face remains the best and most satisfactory means of communicating. However, we know that, when we meet face-to-face,  people take far less from what we say than from our body language. But we must also face the modern problems of time and access. Time is restricted while access seems global, and instant. There are just not enough hours in the day to meet as many people as we want. And some people in the corporate world spend all their time in ‘meetings’, which is just as bad.

 Online, we are told, ‘content is king’, and there is also the familiar adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ (from an article in 1911 by American newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane). So content has tended to be confused with image, brand and design.

How we express ourselves in English has always been important. After all, English is the language of business. So I was interested to read Internet Psychologist Graham Jones in his blog: “The number one online activity is … READING. We read more than ever before and each day billions of words are added to the web. So, given that reading is the most common online activity, what kind of person do you really need to produce your website? An IT specialist? A designer? Nope. They’ll help, for sure, but the key person you need is a writer.

“Writing is the number one skill required to produce a great website these days. Hence if you don’t have an in-house writer, you need one. If you don’t have a team, hire a freelance writer ….” http://bit.ly/1bhLoAt

 While design and brand have their place, they need to underpin the words (rather than overwhelm them). It has been said that websites with the right words will often work better than beautiful-looking websites which pay no attention to the language. Whether or not you are a native English speaker, always remember that the best business English is simple, yet powerful. Always prefer shorter words, sentences and paragraphs to long-winded ones. That takes time, as Pascal wrote in the 17th century: “I have made this longer than usual only because I did not have time to make it shorter.”

 So, get help with your English communications from professional writers, especially those who keep their writing short and simple.

 

English business must get more involved with education

It is time for UK business to get involved with education rather than just complaining

 

Students who are not native English speakers often work harder at speaking and writing good English than native English speakers. This has been rammed home to me by the recently published study on international literacy and numeracy by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

 

The UK (excluding Scotland and Wales) came 13th for literacy and 16th for numeracy In a study published in October 2013 0f more than 150,000 people aged 16 to 65 in 24 countries. For people aged 16 to 24 the UK ranking was 22nd and 21st respectively.

 

Adults with the highest levels of literacy (4 or 5) are three times as likely to enjoy high wages as those with level 1, according to the OECD. And the study reports that countries are more successful economically where businesses are closely and proactively involved with the education process.

In the UK, business are not proactively involved with education, despite the trend for internships (often unpaid – scandalous).

 

It is time for UK business to get involved with education rather than just complaining when confronted with people from school and university who are ill-prepared for life and unfinished in their literacy and numeracy skills. In my old job as director of a marketing company we often employed school-age students as interns during their summer holidays, and we were impressed with their brightness, industry and productivity.

 

Sadly, we can’t trust the politicians to deliver. An Education Minister is in post for only 3 or 4 years, and his or her successor is bound to move the educational goalposts, even if they are from the same political party. Constant change is not a good business model and makes teaching very difficult. Let’s leave education in the hands of the teachers, supported by parents and businesses – politicians can have an overview but not control of the curriculum.

 

BBC business editor Robert Peston has written in his blog on 8 October: “… the OECD would argue is that, where employers have more of an impact on what is taught in schools and subsequently, both skills attainment and economic performance improve. This is not about companies bossing schools around but about a social compact between the private sector and the education system, where there is a mutual acknowledgement of the imperative of preparing younger people for the better jobs of tomorrow.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24442248

English business must help students with literacy and numeracy skills

It is time for UK business to get more involved with the education process

Students with other languages often take more trouble to learn to speak and write good English than native English speakers. This has been rammed home to me by the recently published study on international literacy and numeracy by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Scorn and humiliation have been heaped on the literacy and numeracy skills of adults in England and Northern Ireland. In this study of more than 150,000 people aged 16 to 65 in 24 countries, the UK (excluding Scotland and Wales) has scored poorly – 13th in literacy and 16th for numeracy.

 

The OECD finds that, across all participating nations, adults with the highest levels of literacy (4 or 5) are three times as likely to enjoy high wages as those with level 1. And the study reports that countries are more successful economically where businesses are closely and proactively involved with the education process.

 

In the UK, business are not proactively involved with education, despite the trend for internships (often unpaid – scandalous). 

 

BBC business editor Robert Peston has written in his blog: “… the OECD would argue is that, where employers have more of an impact on what is taught in schools and subsequently, both skills attainment and economic performance improve. This is not about companies bossing schools around but about a social compact between the private sector and the education system, where there is a mutual acknowledgement of the imperative of preparing younger people for the better jobs of tomorrow.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24442248

 

Business must get involved

It is time for UK business to get more involved with education rather than just complaining when confronted with people from school and university who are ill-prepared for life and unfinished in their literacy and numeracy skills. In my old job as director of a marketing company we often employed school-age students as interns during their summer holidays, and we were impressed with their brightness, industry and productivity.

 

Sadly, we can’t trust the politicians to deliver. An Education Minister is in post for only 3 or 4 years, and his or her successor is bound to move the educational goalposts, even if they are from the same political party. Constant change is not a good business model and makes teaching very difficult. Let’s leave education in the hands of the teachers, supported by parents and businesses – politicians can have an overview but not control of the curriculum.

 

Literacy and numeracy rankings

In the OECD study Japan came out top both for literacy and numeracy, with Finland 2nd in each case. In literacy places 2 to 5 in the rankings were filled by the Netherlands, Australia and Sweden; in numeracy it was Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway.

 

One bright spot in the findings: the UK is rated much better in getting people to use their skills at work. Andreas Schleicher, OECD deputy director for education, comments that the UK and US is “very good at extracting the maximum out of limited skills bases”, but Japan is only “so so”. Individuals “that are highly skilled get a lot out of this, those that are poorly skilled pay a high price”, he said.

 

The study shows that England is the only country in the survey where results are going backwards – with the older generation better than the younger. It is worrying that England's 16 to 24-year-olds lag behind in 22nd place for literacy and 21st for numeracy out of 24.The study reveals that there are 8.5 million adults in England and Northern Ireland with the numeracy levels of a 10-year-old.