CIIE: Turkey eager to tap into Chinese market
Updated 13:05, 23-Oct-2018
By CGTN's Michal Bardavid
The Turkish government announced this year it would be expanding its cooperation with China, and the Turkish businesses are eager to tap into the massive market as well. The China International Import Expo (CIIE), to be held in November, is hence seen as a great opportunity by Turkey's leading corporations. 
Dozens of companies from Turkey will participate in the CIIE in November, which come from assorted industries including textile, home appliances, tourism, food and jewelry. 
One giant corporation to attend the CIIE is Turkey's Ata Group, which is participating with five Turkish companies from different industries. Their quick service restaurant company Tab Food Investment is the master franchisee of Burger King in Turkey and an operating partner in China. They have opened over 900 restaurants since 2012, when they first invested in China, and now they employ over 20,000 people in the country. 
 Turkey's Atakey Group will attend the CIIE. /Photo by AtakeyGroup

 Turkey's Atakey Group will attend the CIIE. /Photo by AtakeyGroup

Another Turkish company attending the CIIE is Arbeta tourism agency. It forecasts a rise in the number of Chinese tourists travelling to Turkey and hopes to increase their brand awareness via the CIIE. 
Ata Group President Korhan Kurdoglu says they believe tourism between China and Turkey will increase enormously. “It's already doubled from last year, and it's only a miniscule part of the whole outbound tourism of China, so there's a huge potential.”
Ata Group officials also believe that companies that attend the CIIE will see benefits in the near future. Kurdoglu stressed that “Chinese people are really receptive and they are looking at this opportunity."
Gonul Kahvesi, a company which produces Turkish coffee and has over 800 branches in Turkey, will also be attending the CIIE. The company intends to spread a love for Turkish coffee, a product woven in the country's culture, across the globe. Yaman Yardimci, Executive Board Chairman of the company, says they hope that attending the CIIE will help them find strong connections, and potentially a suitable partner to operate with a master franchise system.
Turkish coffee producer Gonul Kahvesi will attend the CIIE. /Photo by Gonul Kahvesi

Turkish coffee producer Gonul Kahvesi will attend the CIIE. /Photo by Gonul Kahvesi

Another giant corporation hoping to expand their operations in China with the help of the CIIE is Arzum, a home appliances company. The chairman of the board of Arzum is Murat Kolbasi, who has decades of experience working with China as their company manufactures some products there. Kolbasi is also the president of the Turkish-Chinese Business Council of Turkey's Foreign Relations Economic Board. 
He says he's advised Turkish companies to attend the CIIE in order to “improve their awareness of the brand in all of Asia.” Kolbasi added that approximately half a million people are expected to visit the expo, and that alone creates a huge potential for companies attending the CIIE, and he believes there is great potential for companies within the textile, food, tourism and coffee industry to expand into the Chinese market.