The 2012/10/18 at 11:00
Less than a year after the heated debate caused by the voting in of a draft French law criminalising denial of the Armenian genocide, handshaking between France and Turkey is back on the agenda. The Franco-Turkish Chamber of Commerce (CCFT) opened, in September this year, a business centre described as a veritable “business incubator” for French or Turkish businesses setting up in Istanbul. Through this centre, the Chamber offers solutions for renting offices as well as “turnkey” meeting rooms that are immediately operational. Located close to the city’s major roads, bridges on the Bosporus and main business districts, these premises are furnished, air conditioned, and available for use straight away, offering access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meeting spaces and offices equipped with computers, high-speed Internet, and telephones. Mail address solutions are also offered. One of the meeting rooms covers 50 square metres and comes with a wireless video projector, a video recorder and a videoconference system allowing 50 persons to be hosted in conference format, with or without reception and catering services. For small groups, the centre offers a 16 square-metre meeting room, also equipped with a video projector.
According to Zeynep Necipoglu, President of the French Chamber in Turkey, a new page in the organisation’s history is being turned. “What we now need to do is to help this business centre develop and welcome enterprises. We are relying a great deal on our members and our network of French and Turkish partners to recommend and promote this office hosting and meeting-room rental platform to all enterprises in their implementation stage,” she declared.
The company Feugier Environnement, a French SME in the hydraulic sector, is amongst the new arrivals on Turkish territory. Following a prospecting mission in Turkey, the company took the plunge, in May 2012, by setting up in the country, and highlights the many advantages of setting up in the CCFT premises, such as the facility and speed of settling in, cost control, access to administrative services and credibility in the eyes of outsiders. Even more recently, the SME from Alsace, Huron, specialised in designing and manufacturing innovative machine tools, chose the CCFT’s business centre when setting up in Turkey. Its choice stems from the centre’s reactivity, the size of its business network, the speed of “turnkey” installation, the operational work environment, and cost control. For this company, the opening of an office in Turkey is a logical extension of the development of its business in the country, thanks to effective long-term collaboration with Teknikel, a Turkish partner. While Istanbul is a significant host for French companies, Zeynep Necipoglu points out that other regions such as Samsun hold “strong economic potential that French businesses know little about”.
The business centre’s inauguration ceremony took place in the presence of Pierre Antoine Gailly, President of the UCCIFE (Union des Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie Françaises de l’Étranger or Union of French Chambers of Commerce and Industry Abroad), demonstrating support for these bilateral economic relations. Close trade links connect Turkey and France, as shown by the presence of 209 Turkish businesses turning up in October 2012 at the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire (SIAL or The Global Food Marketplace) in Paris, thus making up the strongest foreign delegation. France is Turkey’s number five worldwide client and its seventh supplier. At the same time, Turkey represents France’s number five market today (outside of the EU and the European Free Trade Association), behind China, the United States, Russia and Japan. With around 400 French companies set up locally (only 15 in 1985) and almost 100,000 resulting jobs, French investments represent 6 % of the country’s foreign investments. Bilateral trade totalled the sum of 12.5 billion euros in 2011.