Libmonster ID: MD-833
Author(s) of the publication: V. KONONOV

V. KONONOV, Member of the Council for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses under the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

In terms of its economic potential, Turkey ranks 6th in Europe and 17th in the world. The country's economy not only fully meets the population's needs for food and consumer goods, including durable goods, but also supplies them for export to countries in Europe, America, the CIS, Africa, and the Middle East. Turkey is a leader in the region in electricity generation, in the production of cars, tractors, glass, cement, etc. products. The number of employees in the country is 25 million people (1/3 of the population). About 55 million people use mobile phones and 18 million use the Internet. Every year about 400 thousand people graduate from 115 Turkish universities.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are an important factor in the socio-economic development of Turkey, contributing to the competitiveness of the national economy.


The policy of comprehensive SME development is one of the priorities of the Turkish state's domestic policy, especially in the last 15-20 years. This policy is implemented purposefully at the level of the government, Parliament, regional and municipal authorities, financial institutions1, chambers of commerce and industry, associations of Turkish businessmen, public organizations and structures. The country has well-established legislation that provides substantial state support: concessional lending, taxation, customs and tariff regulation, risk insurance, etc.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Turkey and the Organization for the Support and Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSGEB)are responsible for SME issues.2

Favorable conditions for the establishment and development of SMEs have stimulated hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens to use their creative potential and professional qualifications to create innovative, technological small businesses along with small family-owned enterprises. The role of the latter in meeting the needs of large enterprises in various sectors of the economy is constantly increasing.

Currently, the share of SMEs in the creation of Turkey's GDP is 40.1%, in the total number of enterprises-99.5%, in employment-61.1%, in investment-56.5%, in services - 98%, in exports-24.6%, in total credit - 4.8%."

Microenterprises include structures with up to 10 employees, small-from 10 to 50, medium - from 51 to 250 people with annual net sales not exceeding, respectively, 800 thousand US dollars, 4 and 20 million US dollars.


In recent years, one of the most effective forms of state support and development of SMEs is the creation of organized industrial zones (OPzS) near large cities, where they are combined into specialized complexes. At the same time, each enterprise retains its legal and economic independence. Funding for the construction of infrastructure facilities in the OPZ is 90% provided by the state. The remaining 10% - at the expense of preferential bank loans and funds of entrepreneurs.

From several tens to hundreds of SMEs can be located in one OPZ. This allows Turkish entrepreneurs, in particular, to reduce the cost of purchasing raw materials by organizing joint purchases in large volumes, save on transport and other costs, and the presence of training centers there makes it possible to improve the level of professional training of personnel.

One example of an OPZ is the Tuzla Leather Industry Zone (near Istanbul), which includes 223 firms engaged in leather dressing, clothing and footwear tailoring, and about 150 firms that produce auxiliary materials, accessories and other components. The area of the zone is 6.5 square kilometers, including 2.2 square kilometers for industrial buildings.

There is a unified system of treatment facilities equipped with advanced chemical and biological treatment technology, a forest park and sports facilities, a fire department, as well as a preventive dispensary, a mosque, a vocational school, chemical analysis laboratories and other facilities have been built. The park area and social and cultural facilities cover an area that is twice as large as the area under industrial facilities.

These zones are subject to preferential taxation and lending. To manage and ensure the operation of all technical services

page 46

an operating company is being created for their infrastructure. When creating an OPP, the most preferential conditions are used by enterprises of export-oriented industries. In particular, SMEs that export their products are partially exempt from VAT and import duties on the import of raw materials and equipment, and pay for electricity at preferential tariffs. They are also encouraged to participate in exhibitions and fairs abroad, with the Government fully covering the costs*.

To organize sales of finished products, including their export, joint export companies (JEC) have been created, which solve a whole range of issues that are beyond the power of individual small and medium-sized enterprises. The SEC is financed by the state, sales of shares, attraction of soft loans, proceeds from services provided, etc.

One of the successful ECS companies is EGS (clothing production in the Aegean region), established in 1994, which includes 358 companies engaged in the production and trade of equipment for the clothing industry, transportation and customs clearance of goods, advertising, tourism, leasing, etc. Over the past years, the company has significantly increased the number of co-founders and has become an effective tool for realizing their export potential.


Of course, the above can be considered as a possible reference point for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in the regions of Russia. The results achieved by Turkey in this area are of practical interest to us, given the complementary nature of the economic structures of Russia and Turkey, the established and successfully developing trade and economic ties between them, 4 as well as the desire of business people of the two countries to further develop them on the basis of mutual benefit.

It would be advisable to establish cooperation between Russian federal and regional SME structures and KOSGEB in order to exchange information and experience in the field of SMEs, consult on current legislation, finance, support for innovations, cooperation in the investment sphere**, search and selection of business partners, entrepreneurship culture, organization of mutual exhibitions, fairs, personnel retraining, etc. etc.

The example of Turkey, many other countries, and life itself urgently require the creation of truly favorable conditions for supporting and developing SMEs in our country.

The Federal Law "On the Development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses in the Russian Federation" (No. 209-FZ), signed by the President of Russia on July 24, 2007, is a basic regulatory act that allows solving many issues of the legislative framework, including the elimination of unnecessary administrative barriers, real access of SMEs to sources of financing on favorable terms, acceptable tax rates, etc. the rental fee. Solving these issues will allow creating many new industries in Russia, primarily in socially oriented sectors of the economy, in the field of advanced technologies, expanding the tax base, increasing employment and reducing unemployment, which is especially important for the Southern Federal District (SFD), and improving the material and social situation of many citizens.

All this, in the end, will contribute to the competitiveness of our products, improve the country's economic situation, consolidate society, and improve the well-being of citizens. Full support and development of SMEs in Russia should become a national task. The adoption of the federal law is a clear example of an effective dialogue between business and government.


In the format of bilateral Russian-Turkish relations, issues of business partnership in the field of small and medium-sized businesses were discussed at meetings of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Russian-Turkish Business Council, meetings between chambers of commerce and industry, agencies and other structures. However, today the results achieved in this area still lag behind the potential opportunities of Russia and Turkey.

Recently, the Turkish Confederation of Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSCON) and the Russian-Turkish Association for Business Partnership and Friendship (RUTID) have been playing an increasingly active role in trade and economic relations between Russia and Turkey. Having opened its representative office in Moscow in December 2006, the RUTID Association provides practical assistance to Russian firms, including those representing SMEs, in selecting a Turkish business partner and entering the Turkish market, and to Turkish firms in entering the Russian market, as well as in selecting a reliable Russian partner. At the same time, it organizes trips of Turkish businessmen to the regions of Russia to get acquainted on the spot with their potential opportunities in order to create various industries.

Similar trips to Turkey are also organized for Russian entrepreneurs, economic seminars and forums are held, and an information magazine is published in Russian and Turkish. Most ,which publishes materials about Russian-Turkish relations, including those of practical interest to businessmen of both countries.

* This applies to SMEs with no more than 150 employees and no more than US $ 2 million in fixed assets.

** This may include the creation of enterprises for the processing of livestock, poultry, crop production, production of building materials and products, consumer goods, including durable goods, as well as the construction of residential buildings, hotels, business centers, enterprises of the tourist and recreational complex, services, etc.

page 47

Issues of cooperation between Turkish and Russian companies and firms in the field of SMEs, including on specific projects, were discussed during bilateral negotiations by participants of the second Eurasian Economic Forum "Turkey-2 Foreign Trade Bridge", which was held in Istanbul in December 2007. The forum was attended by more than 1 thousand Turkish businessmen representing all major industries Turkish economy, as well as about 600 entrepreneurs from Eurasian countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia). The forum was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Turkey, the Embassy and Trade Mission of the Russian Federation in Turkey and the Russian Consulate General in Istanbul.

A delegation of Russian businessmen and representatives of administrative structures consisting of 120 people, who arrived in Turkey from various regions of Russia, visited industrial enterprises in Istanbul, as well as a large industrial center in Kayseri. Agreements were reached on the participation of Turkish companies and firms in the construction of a number of enterprises in Russia (production of bricks, cement, plastic pipes, furniture, cold slaughterhouses, fruit and vegetable processing, housing construction, etc.).

Business partnership in the field of small and medium-sized businesses between Russian and Turkish firms at the regional level of the two countries can contribute to the creation of new high-tech industries in Russia, increase the volume of mutual trade, strengthen relations of trust, mutual understanding and good neighborliness between the peoples of Russia and Turkey.

1 In particular, the People's Bank of Turkey operates for concessional lending to SMEs, which has a wide network of branches throughout the country. The Bank also assists in personnel training, production and marketing planning, and provides consulting services. Loans to SMEs are also provided by Turkish national and foreign banks and funds.

2 KOSGEB is a state structure established in 1990 to formulate a state policy in the field of SMEs, to comprehensively promote their development, taking into account the experience of other countries. It has its own representative offices in the regions of the country. Cooperates with relevant agencies in foreign countries. KOSGEB provides assistance to SMEs in organizing R & D, purchasing the necessary equipment, market research, choosing places to invest, marketing, organizing the export of goods, training personnel, and other issues.

3 Hereafter - data from Turkish sources: Ministry of Industry and Trade of Turkey, KOSGEB (reports and research).

4 According to preliminary estimates, the trade turnover in 2007 was about $ 25 billion. The volume of Turkish investments in the Russian economy exceeded $ 4.5 billion, and the amount of contracts signed by Turkish construction companies for the construction of various facilities exceeded $ 20 billion. In the regions of Russia, they have built more than 1 thousand objects for various purposes.


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