Ambassador’s Statement at the opening of BEKO’s Research and Development Centre

Abdurrahman Bilgiç 14.12.2016
Mr. Greg Hands, Minister of State for International Trade,
The Right Honourable Jack Straw,
Mr. Rahmi Koç, Honorary Chairman of Koç Holdings,
Distinguished Members of the Arçelik Group and Koç Holdings,

I am very pleased to be with you today on the occasion of the opening of BEKO’s Research and Development Centre. I am confident that this Centre will make immense contribution to the innovation capacity of BEKO.

Research and development facilities are essential for the innovative and intelligent technologies to be developed. In the last decade, there has been a sizeable increase in the budget and number of personnel allocated to research and development in Turkey.
While the ratio of Research and Development expenditure to GDP was %0.48 in 2003, this ratio exceeded %1.06 in 2015 and increased more than twice in this period. Moreover, only in 2015, gross domestic spending in Research and Development in Turkey increased by 17% compared to the previous year. The fact that more than half of this amount was realized by the private sector underlines the importance given to Research and Development by our firms as well.

Research and development activities continue to remain at the top of the Turkish Government’s agenda. The Government prepared Research and Development reform including a wide range of incentives and other government support in February. Those reforms include:

- Supporting design activities
- Reducing minimum staff requirement to establish a Research and Development Center to 15 people from 30
- Providing Government support for research personnel’s wages up to two years
- Supporting technology development zones
- Increasing the sum of techno-initiative capital support
- Reducing tax burden through customs duties and stamp tax exemption

Dear guests,

It is encouraging to see that economic contribution of the Turkish community to the British society has significantly improved over the years. In terms of business, Turkish companies are becoming major players in the global market place. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe depend on the Turkish businesses. UK is the living example where Turkish companies have continued and stable success and where they have good networking with their British counterparts.

Strong presence of Turkish companies in the UK derives its power from the well-established commercial relations between Turkey and the UK. Deep-rooted links between two countries were first forged 500 years ago when the forerunners of the two countries developed mutual trading interests.

Currently, commercial relations are on the right track between the two countries. It goes without saying that there is a mutual political will to further strengthen economic and commercial relations. The countries already established a network of well-functioning mechanisms. Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) is actually one of them.

Today, BEKO stands testament to the success of the Turkish companies in the UK. I am proud to say that Turkish brand BEKO is the leading white goods brand in the UK.

In essence, Turkey’s position as a manufacturing hub and its proximity to the UK market make Turkey a reliable trade partner for the UK in various sectors and products. There are various industrial goods in the UK market sourced from Turkey. I am confident that the economic and commercial cooperation will be taken forward with the valuable contribution of Turkish and British companies.

Trade is the building block of the relations between Turkey and the UK. The UK is Turkey’s one of the leading trading partners. Bilateral trade between Turkey and the UK increased by %68 since 2009 and exceeded 16 billion dollars in 2015. The UK is one of top destinations (ranks 2nd) for Turkish exports. We could confidently say that Turkish-British commercial relations stand strong and resilient despite current ups and downs in the global markets.

Dear guests,

In conclusion, I understand that Research and Development Centre of BEKO has the goal of introducing smart technologies to upgrade the products. There is no doubt that BEKO, which is the market leader in white goods in the UK, will add even more value to its products through innovative work carried out at this Research and Development Centre.

Thank you.


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