Let’s assume you have a business in a foreign country and you want to import products from Turkey. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the mainstay of Turkey’s large and rapidly growing economy. Due to the profitable price level and the great volume of domestic production, product import from Turkey is an extremely attractive option.
Certainly if the type of product that you have in mind is produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, a successful import largely depends on the establishment of an efficient structure. If the products are manufactured by many suppliers everywhere in the country, it will be virtually impossible to make separate contracts with all of them. The obvious solution to this frequently occurring situation is to have one, or a limited number of wholesalers in Turkey who deal with the local suppliers and that you only deal with these wholesalers. Evidently, in that situation it would be advisable to select wholesalers that already have extensive networks of suppliers.
For a foreign entrepreneur it would be virtually impossible to set up such an efficient import structure. For a starting business to be successful in Turkey it is an absolute must for the entrepreneur to speak the language, to be familiar with the local business culture and to have a large, efficient, high-quality network.
All too often we see entrepreneurs get stuck because they tried to set up their business by themselves or through a relative of a Turkish employee. The Turks are people with a rich and long tradition in commerce. A wholesaler who suspects amateurism with his potential trade partner may, for instance, be tempted to grossly overprice his wares.
Of course, setting up an import network in Turkey becomes less complicated if the products you want to import come from one or only a few industrial enterprises. Yet, you will still need advice and assistance in establishing the necessary contacts, negotiating, dealing with all the legal implications and making the best possible use of any business incentives that might be available in your particular case.