14 January 2022

Building Bridges

“Finding Opportunities & Building Bridges in the Automotive Industry Between Turkey and the EU” is a project that has been developed and implemented by Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey) in partnership with Bács-Kiskun County Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Hungary), Polish Chamber of Commerce (Poland), and Kilis Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Turkey). It is one of 19 Chamber Partnership projects which is being supported by the European Union in the framework of TEBD.

Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s aims have two main focuses: strengthening the export capacity of the local enterprises in Bursa, and vitalizing the economic indicators of the country as well as giving contribution to the development levels of their project partner Kilis. The Chambers realized how Turkey needs to increase its export capacity and rate, and this realization is what launched their project: “Finding Opportunities & Building Bridges in the Automotive Industry between Turkey and the EU”.

The overall objectives of the action were strategized around the intent to reinforce civil society in Turkey, strengthening mutual knowledge and understanding between the Turkish Chambers and their counterparts in the EU. This was achieved by facilitating the exchange of best practices, contributing to the economic development of Turkey, Poland, and Hungary, promoting the integration of European and Turkish business communities, and ensuring a stronger awareness of the opportunities and challenges of Turkey’s future accession to the EU in both Turkey and in the EU. Additionally, more specific aims include specialising the SMEs in the automotive industry, in foreign trade and entrepreneurship issues. By transferring experiences and best practices of Bács-Kiskun County CCI and Polish CC to the Bursa CCI and Kilis CCI, and informing the SMEs on the concerned EU policies and issues, beneficiary SMEs would be encouraged to make business in Poland and Hungary which will contribute to the internationalization of the enterprises, as well as to the economic development of the regions and the country itself.

Activities from the Project 1/2

Such an ambitious project required many different activities. Several trainings on EU Legislation for the Automotive Industry, Foreign Trade Procedures, and Entrepreneurship Issues, and seminars on Environmental Management and Intellectual Property Rights, and Entrepreneurship, Environmental Procedures and Sustainable Development were organized. Also, commercial visits were organised, at which Turkish SMEs participated in B2B meetings with Warsaw companies, and observed the R&D studies and best practices of Polish companies. The main beneficiaries of this project had been SMEs who showed interest in taking part in the project, especially SMEs in Bursa by participating in these overseas activities, and looking to create a market for both Hungary and Poland.

“We would like to thank Bursa CCI for training organisations. We have gained valuable insight from these trainings. We also started receiving production/purchasing requests from companies from Poland. Even though we did not conclude any of this possible arrangements, we believe that the process is now open to encouraging opportunities.”
– Pınar Özkeserli, Owner of Özmetal Plastik Ltd. Şti.

However, as many other projects around the globe, “Finding Opportunities & Building Bridges in the Automotive Industry between Turkey and the EU” was impacted by COVID-19, which disrupted the last activities of the project. Nonetheless, Bursa CCI overcame the issues by adapting themselves to new business models and made their EU partners commercial visit as B2B online as their last closing meeting.

“We held bilateral meetings with the companies in Hungary, Kecskemet. We are still in contact with a few companies we talked to. During the program we had the opportunity to visit production facilities from many different sectors, especially the Mercedes factory visit was a very good benchmark for us. Thank you again for this useful business trip.”
– Tuba Özlem Bilgin, Owner of ÖZTUĞ Otomotiv A.Ş, Bursa, Turkey.

Activities from the Project 2/2

Overall, more than 100 companies benefited from the trainings and seminars given within the scope of the project. All partners had the opportunity to make B2B meetings, and created online training booklets in 4 different subjects translated into 3 languages and shared with the public on the website, ensuring in this way that the outputs of the training reached as many people as possible, making this project as successful as can be.