The most densely populated city in Turkey, Istanbul is hosting a major investment summit that is welcoming hundreds of high-level investors from around the world.
Nearly 300 foreign investors from more than 40 countries have come together with around 100 domestic investors at the Badeer I. Business World and Investment Opportunities Summit, which kicked off yesterday, to evaluate opportunities in industries such as energy, tourism, construction, defense, advanced technology, agriculture, livestock and health.
Addressing the summit, Bader al-Saeed, the head of the Badeer Investment Platform, said Turkey is the cradle of investment with a large number of opportunities.
"Investment opportunities, which are provided in Turkey, cannot be found in any other country," he said.
The-two day event is being held under the auspices of the Trade Ministry and with the support of the Treasury and Finance Ministry, the Presidential Investment Office, the Industry and Technology Ministry and the Culture and Tourism Ministry,
Al-Saeed said Turkey offers an environment of trust, a peaceful atmosphere, infrastructure and an established superstructure for investments. He also underscored that the Qatari-Turkish joint Badeer Investment Platform would assist international investors who have plans to investment in Turkey.
Meanwhile, within the framework of the summit, Turkey expects to attract $3 billion in foreign investment and launch a billion-dollar investment fund, Badeer Investment Platform executive board member Ali Ercoşkun, a former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy, said in an interview ahead of the event.
He had also said that 58,954 foreign-owned firms operate in Turkey. Ercoşkun also explained that 34,573 companies are ventures between domestic and foreign partners.
Within the scope of the summit, foreign investors and domestic firms assembled to establish companies, partnership agreements, corporate acquisitions and project sharing. Moreover, signing the distributorship agreement as performing activities aimed at increasing imports and exports are expected to contribute to Turkey's economy.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Muhanned Al Masri, the chairman of the executive council of Dubai-based Damsco Group, said Turkey is a favorable country to invest with its safety and stability.
"Especially Arab investors benefit from Turkey's distinguished environment," he added.
Mehmet Fatih Kacır, the vice president of the Industry and Technology ministry, invited international investors to invest in technology start-ups in Turkey.
"Turkey has over 20 technoparks, and more than 1,000 research and development centers," he said.
He underlined that Turkey provides incentives in several sectors such as manufacturing, automotive, education, rail and seaways, and energy. International investors, who earn in Turkey, can transfer their incomes via banks and financial institutions without constraint, Kacır stressed.
He also said Turkey has a market of 80 million people and it is a regional hub capable of reaching $28 trillion in business.
The event also eyed to explain the business law in Turkey as well as introducing foreign investors to issues such as citizenship rights.
In his speech at the I. Business World and Investment Opportunities Summit, Arda Ermut, head of the Presidential Investment Office, said Turkey supports international investors at every stage from feasibility studies to accessing financing and choosing the right location.
"Even a company established by 100 percent foreign capital is treated as a Turkish firm," he noted.
Ermut noted that Turkey has 27 free trade agreements (FTA) with multiple countries and aims to ink more deals especially in the East and Far-Eastern markets. Firms which invest and produce in Turkey could reach these markets, he added.
"We are also working to reduce the costs of firms and raise research and development investments in Turkey."
Foreign direct investment is not an "option" for Turkey but an obligation for the sustainable development of the country, he said. Ermut indicated that Turkey has attracted $200 billion in foreign direct investment since 2002 but its potential is much higher.
"We want to raise our share from global direct investments from 1 percent to 1.5 percent in the short term and 2 percent in the long term," Ermut stressed.
Meanwhile, Turkey attracted nearly $7 billion in foreign direct investment in the first eight months of this year and the Presidential Investment Office expects it to reach over $11 billion by year's end.