Gulf investors eye Turkey following AK Party win

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 02.11.2015 21:04
Updated 02.11.2015 21:07
Gulf investors eye Turkey following AK Party win

The expected stability following the elections, has whet the appetite of investors' from the Gulf region looking to make investments in Turkey, relying on economic stability in a safe political environment

After the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) win in the Nov. 1 elections, the expected political stability has made investors more eager to invest in Turkey. Investors from the Gulf region are more willing to investment in Turkey since they perceive the economic outlook of the country as safer and brighter.

Davud al-Shezawi, CEO of the Dubai Investment Congress, answered questions from Anadolu Agency (AA) concerning this turn of events. Shezawi said they are pleased with the outcome of the Nov. 1 elections and that investors prefer a predictable atmosphere. Stressing the increased number of collaborations with Turkish companies, he said: "The Turkish market continues to be a center of attraction for Gulf funds. Turkey is a promising country following the latest elections and has stepped forward for investment opportunities. Turkey is still a favorite for investment due to the chaos in the Middle East. We received numerous offers for collaboration from Turkish companies." He said the number of Turkish companies that will attend the Dubai International Property Show (IPS) in April 2016 increased 50 percent compared to the previous fair. "This fair will enable Turkey-based companies to make sales and get a chance to make new collaborations with foreign investors to develop new property projects. I expect Gulf funds to make strong investments in Turkey," Shezawi said.

The Investment Congress is held under the patronage of the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and emir of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Gökhan İlgar, CEO of LMG Global DWC, the only authorized Turkey-based company that will attend, observed that the Nov. 1 election results will increase the interest of Arab investors in Turkey.

İlgar said he spoke face to face with the presidents of 28 chambers of commerce in Saudi Arabia following the Jun. 7 elections. "The common outcome of these meetings was the wish for the reconstruction of political stability in Turkey. Investors in the Gulf were focused on the Nov. 1 elections. Following the elections, we talked again and they underlined their decision to make stronger investments now. We will host a crowded delegation from Saudi Arabia in the upcoming month."

İlgar added that Arab investors and tourists began to take interest in provinces outside Istanbul, noting they are now focusing on the Black Sea region. "Trabzon has become the favorite city in the region. The number of foreign investors undertaking new projects in Trabzon increased 290 percent compared to the previous year. I believe that the construction of new facilities and infrastructure will improve tourism along with the potential of the city. Investors from the Middle East will take a close interest in Trabzon at the IPS Fair in Dubai," said İlgar.

İlgar also offered details about the newest investment deals. A UAE-based investment group will make a $50 million investment in the construction of a five-star hotel, he reported, and a Saudi Arabia-based group will make a $150 million investment in the winter tourism. "The number of Arab tourists visiting the Black Sea region was around 30,000, but this number increased to 350,000 this year," İlgar said. He further added that LMG Global will introduce the region to new investors between December and February and that they are receiving investment demands from Dubai and Jeddah.

Echoing İlgar's statements, Eyüp Akbal, Fuzul Group Vice-Chairman, said they are receiving investment requests from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. He reported that Gulf countries have been waiting for the end of the political instability in Turkey. "Before the results of the elections were officially announced, we talked to some groups from Qatar and Pakistan that are eager to make investments in Turkey. They called us as soon as they saw the results and said this is the right time to make investments." He further stated that they will meet with a Qatar-based group to collaborate in property investment. "As there is political stability in Turkey, our hand is stronger," Akbal said. Fuzul Group is also preparing a road map for new investments in the property sector. "The Qatar-based group that we will collaborate with is a recognized and prominent investment group known for their investments in property. Our priority is Istanbul. This collaboration will be a first in Turkey. Our aim is to make different property investments around big cities in Turkey and continue this collaboration in the long term," Akbal said.

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