Turkey’s presidency of the G20

Originally appeared on Bosphorus Consulting on 17 May, 2015

Turkey’s presidency of the G20 this year focuses on inclusiveness, implementation, and investment for growth. Included in this spectrum is a commitment to gender equality and to bolstering SMEs. As part of its G20 presidency, Turkey is also directing the B20, that branch of the G20 bringing together business leaders from different countries in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. This undoubtedly represents fantastic opportunities for Turkish businesses to engage internationally.

First and foremost, the media attention on Turkey due to its G20 presidency is something IR and communications departments can utilize to leverage their own media activities. With major international business publications likely to be using the G20 as a talking point, Turkish businesses should have their voices heard. Thoughtful commentary on G20-related events will likely attract media attention as well as demonstrate to stakeholders a company’s awareness of current events. Proactive companies should be highlighting press mentions to stakeholders and sending out newsletters with short opinion pieces.At the same time, a focus on Turkish SMEs is something businesses large and small across the country would do well to take advantage of. As we have discussed previously (“Lack of foreign investment limiting growth of SMEs“, 24 February 2015), Turkish SMEs have huge potential but are being held back by a lack of FDI. G20/B20 efforts to promote Turkish SMEs present a unique and exciting investment opportunity which can spark investor interest.Finally, Turkey’s G20 commitments to improve gender equality represent an example for Turkish businesses to follow.

As our own work shows, international investors and analysts increasingly ask for examples of equitable business practices. According to the 2013 United Nations Development Program’s development index, Turkey ranked 69th out of 187 countries – behind Lebanon and Venezuela and just ahead of Kazakhstan and Mexico – for gender equality.Clearly, there is a lot to be done in terms of improving the situation in Turkey, and companies which can communicate their improvement efforts to investors may attract positive attention. If for example the company has taken new initiatives to increase the equitability of its hiring practices, or say if it has increased the amount of female staff in higher positions, these sorts of things should be communicated to stakeholders in a newsletter, a press release, or other attention-grabbing form of communication.This year, with the eyes of the business world will be on Turkey more than ever. This is the perfect time for Turkish businesses to step up their efforts to engage with international stakeholders.

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