On 19th March, the British Embassy at Ankara organised a special seminar for the business community of Konya. Konya is a town of around 1 million inhabitants situated 200 kilometres south of Ankara. It is an important centre for agriculture and automotive suppliers particularly in the replacement parts business.
In the morning, the delegates were addressed by the Governor of Ankara, the Deputy Mayor and the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce with a keynote speech from Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador.
There were then presentations on the formation of UK/Turkey business alliances, the help which could be given by the European Commission, Turkish help in business co-operation and how the British Embassy can help through outward missions and in other ways.
In the afternoon, there were specialised sessions on agri-industry, the automotive sector and education and training. The agricultural industry presentation was by Mr Barry Linton OBE, the expert technical adviser for the UK Government Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He paid particular attention to harvesting and post-harvesting activities including storage, transport, packaging and marketing.
The automotive sector was covered by the director of the Euromotor and Autotrain projects, Dr Cedric Ashley CBE. He talked about the UK automotive industry, its structure and purchasing policies. He outlined the quality requirements and the standards to be expected from suppliers by the UK industry. He also outlined the effect of new technology on the future of the automotive industry. .
The third workshop dealt with education and training. It was given by Mr Mike Thornton, deputy director of the British Council in Turkey.
Further information on this event may be found from Chris Innes-Hopkins, head of economic and commercial department, British Embassy, Ankara. (Email: Chris.Innes-Hopkins@fco.gov.uk.