By Daniel Hunter

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson led a delegation of more than 20 companies to 2020 Olympic and Paralympic host candidate city, Istanbul this week.

The group included several involved in the successful delivery of London 2012, such as Populous and British Telecom. During the three-day visit, Mr Robertson met with Turkey’s Sports Minister Suat Kilic, International Olympic Committee member and President of Turkey’s National Olympic Committee, Uğur Erdener and the Chairman of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, Hasan Arat.

Hugh Robertson said: “This milestone trade mission comes at a time when contact between Turkey and the UK has never been stronger. These are extraordinarily exciting times for sport in Turkey. The Istanbul 2020 bid encapsulates this excitement, bringing together the city’s fantastic history in a country that showcases the best of Asia and the best of Europe. To have so much recent expertise from UK companies involved with London 2012 here in Turkey in one visit has been extremely valuable for both sides. Our experience in constructing and delivering great global events is at Turkey’s disposal.”

Commenting on the ministerial-led UK trade mission, Suat Kilic added: “I attended the London 2012 Games which were of the highest standard. Turkey is also very ambitious to host major global sports events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. Therefore it is appropriate that we should welcome Minister Robertson and the delegation of expert UK companies to discuss how Turkey and the UK could collaborate in the future. The meetings have been very productive and I believe both sides have learnt a great deal.”

Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid are all competing to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games with the successful city being announced by the International Olympic Committee in September.

'Open to Export' is a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) initiative in partnership with hibu plc (formerly Yell Group).

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