24 March 2018

Turkey's location advantageous to foreign investors

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Turkey's geostrategic position is an advantage for direct investment and foreign investors, a Turkish official on Tuesday told Anadolu Agency.

Arda Ermut, president of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), pointed to Turkey's proximity to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

"Within four hours of flight from Turkey, one can reach 1.6 billion population and $28 trillion GDP. No multinational company can overlook that," he said.

In addition to its location, Turkey's human resources capacity is also attractive to global investors, according to Ermut.

"Political stability, reforms to improve investment environment, incentives for foreign investment, and a responsive government" are some of the other factors that draw foreign investors to Turkey, he said.

He noted that Turkey received $15 billion in direct foreign investment before 2002. Between 2002 and 2016, the total was $170 billion.

"I think the major difference between 20 years ago and today is the self-confidence Turkey has gained to see its own problems, and its willingness to work to find solutions for them," Ermut said.

"[The] Fetullah Terrorist Organization's (FETO) failed coup attempt on July 15 was met with strong unity by the Turkish public. This strengthened the confidence Turkey has in itself. Foreign investors who witnessed that continued or increased their investments. We should be able to show this to investors that has never come to Turkey as well," he added.

Ermut is in New York for the Business Ambassadors initiative ISPAT is undertaking, in which executives of American companies in Turkey come to the U.S. to describe to their counterparts the investment climate there.

"Perception is an issue for Turkey. Foreign businesses in our country continue investing or increase their investments. But, for people who never visited Turkey, there is a serious perception problem," Ermut said.

ISPAT is trying to tackle the problem by inviting American executives to the U.S. so they can describe the reality of Turkey's economy and investment environment, he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Washington DC with executives of major American companies at the end of March, and in New York in September.

"American investors told us in those meetings that Turkish government is very responsive, and fast, in meeting their demands," Ermut said.

He underlined that the agency would continue to describe Turkey's investment climate outside the country, and added that the Business Ambassadors initiative is one of the first steps in ISPAT's long-term strategies.

2016.11.15 / 13:32
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