The number of companies established with foreign capital in Turkey has gradually increased since 2011, with entrepreneurs escaping war-torn countries like Syria and Yemen establishing the largest number of these businesses. Four out of the top five countries that have the greatest number of companies with foreign capital in Turkey are affected by conflict.
The number of foreign capital corporations was 27,436 in 2011 while it was 74,227 at the end of 2019, with an average 170.5% increase in eight years. Establishments from some 24 countries have reported an increase above this average while 38 countries were below the average. Some 46,791 of them were established within the last eight years.
Among those, companies established in Turkey by Syrian refugees reported the greatest increase in number while those established by Yemeni refugees recorded the greatest increase proportionately. Syrian refugees who fled the civil war and took refuge in Turkey have been integrated into the Turkish economy, operating in diverse sectors, including retail, textile, agriculture, food, e-commerce, manufacturing, construction and real estate.
According to earlier statements by Ziad Shamaoun, deputy chair of the Syrian Businessmen's Association (SİAD), Syrian businesspeople have invested more than $1.5 billion in Turkey as of 2019.
In July 2018, the Syrian businesspeople in Turkey signed a protocol to open 10 factories in Turkey's southeastern city of Şanlıurfa where 1,540 people were set to be employed with an investment of TL 80 million.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions lost their homes in the nearly nine-year civil war in Syria. Turkey remains the country with the most refugees in the world, hosting more than 3.7 million since the start of the war.
The number of Syrian corporations constituted more than 17% of the total number with 12,737. The number was only 408 in 2011.
In addition, 16 Yemeni corporations were operating in Turkey in 2011, while the number has increased up to 597 as of the end of last year. The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, has been at war with the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since 2015. United Nations officials say the war has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions suffering from severe hunger.
Turkish institutions and nongovernmental organizations, including the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkish Diyanet Foundation, continue to provide humanitarian aid to the war-torn country along with housing Yemeni refugees in Turkey.
The third-largest increase, on the other hand, was recorded by Egyptian companies despite the political disputes between Ankara and Cairo. The number of companies established by Egyptians in Turkey was recorded as 382 in 2019 from 113 in 2011.
Palestinian and Libyan companies have ranked fourth and fifth among the corporations owned by foreigners in Turkey.
Companies established by Afghan and Iraqi refugees have also increased. Apart from the war-torn countries, Arabian and African countries also recorded increases in the number of companies established in Turkey. Businesspeople from Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates have all recorded above-average increases while Qatari companies ranked sixth.
The number of Chinese companies has also increased, reaching up to 1,138 at the end of 2019, from 415 in 2011, with an above-average increase.
Among Western countries, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Italy became the top countries that bring the most foreign capital in Turkey while the total number of the companies established with foreign capital from Western countries was recorded below average.
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