CHICAGO — A panel of business leaders and Baker & McKenzie partners shared insights this afternoon on the risks and opportunities related to doing business in Turkey and the Middle East.

Some key takeaways:

  • In-bound business activity into Turkey was estimated at $3.7 billion in 2014, and is expected to grow significantly in 2015.
  • The feature of Middle East markets is that often the economies are run by a small group of well-connected and wealthy families.
  • When you buy a business in Turkey, make sure it has certain distance to government.
  • It’s generally easier to enter the market in the United Arab Emirates, as they are making efforts to attract foreign investment.
  • Turkey has many highly-trained engineers doing interesting work in Turkey, and that can be a big opportunity.