Business Services in Turkey
Turkey’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, the CIS, the Middle East, and Asia, has helped propel the country’s economy into the upper echelon over the past decade. Turkey’s 2014 GDP of approximately USD 820 billion is good enough to rank the country as the 17th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest economy in Europe. Turkey has easy access to 1.6 billion consumers, a combined GDP of USD 27 trillion, and a trade volume of USD 8 trillion within a four-hour flight radius. Turkey is also a major energy corridor, serving as a hub connecting Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. This favorable position, along with the country’s existing potential, population growth, and increase in income per capita have positively impacted the development of the business services sector in Turkey.
Turkey has significant experience in a wide range of business service lines, such as engineering services and contracting, testing and technical analysis, call centers, auditing and accounting, law advisory services, healthcare, transport, retail, as well as consulting and financial services.
As the private sector increasingly focuses on customer services, Turkey’s call center and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has achieved considerable growth in recent years. In addition to thousands of business centers with services for telecom operators, airlines and financial institutions, the sector is set for further growth owing to demand drivers such as a young and skilled work force, strategic geographic position, and government incentives aiming to increase growth in underdeveloped regions. The list of major companies with BPO units in Turkey includes Vodafone, Lufthansa, ING Bank and DHL.
The call center sector in Turkey has gained momentum since the inception of the first call centers in the 1990s. Employment in the industry has grown at an annual rate of 20 percent since 2010, when the sector was comprised of 1,000 companies, 40,000 employees, and had a value of USD 400 million. According to the Turkish Call Centers Association, the industry was worth USD 1.6 billion and employed 80,000 people in 2014, up from the 2013 figures of USD 1.4 billion and 70,200 respectively. The call center sector has set an ambitious target of having a work force of 350,000 people by 2023.
Meanwhile, legal advisory services, consulting, and financial services also play a crucial role in Turkey’s economy. Turkey’s vibrant economy and improved business environment have resulted in the growth of consulting services in Turkey. Major global companies in these sectors now have their offices in Turkey. According to Euromonitor International, turnover of the legal advisory services sector will reach USD 3 billion by 2017, whereas turnover in consulting will reach USD 19 billion. In addition, as new regulations come into force and Turkey aspires to have compatible standards with the EU, the auditing and accounting sector will continue to grow.
With its existing potential and ambitious targets for 2023, Turkey offers great opportunities for investors. The country’s growing commercial and industrial output attracts an increasing number of enterprises, particularly in the business services sector.