One of the most highlighted pledges made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and members of the Turkish economic administration, particularly during the pre-referendum period, was to alleviate the burden of bureaucratic procedures by creating more compact economic administrations where all units operate in coordination. To illustrate commitment to the pledge, a consultancy office to guide foreign investors who want to make investments Istanbul was opened with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in attendance. The Invest in Istanbul office of the Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA) provides direct services to foreign investors. Operating in the renovated Odakule, Invest in Istanbul will allow foreign investors seeking investments in Istanbul to directly conduct transactions.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Yıldırım said, "Invest in Istanbul will serve as a window for making investments and will reduce bureaucracy, thus enabling Istanbul to receive more investments."
A foreign investor applying to the Invest in Istanbul office - established by the İSTKA and with the cooperation of the Istanbul Governor's Office, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB), the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) - will be able to execute residence permits, work permits, workplace registrations, tax registrations, Social Security Institution (SGK) transactions, workplace opening licenses, construction permits and building registration transactions in one office.
Invest in Istanbul is also supported by the Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT), the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Migration, the Istanbul Tax Office, the Istanbul Social Security Directorate and the Istanbul Labor and Employment Agency.
As well as the above listed issues, Invest in Istanbul also helps potential investors to benefit from the major investment incentives the government offers. Moreover, the agency shows that foreign investors under the general investment scheme can enjoy value added tax (VAT) and customs duty exemptions. There are two requirements to benefit from this incentive mechanism in Istanbul, which are "the investment topic must not be listed among the ‘not to be supported' section," and "the minimum fixed investment amount must exceed the TL 1 million ($280,000) level." The agency offers more detailed and developed investment guidance to potential foreign investors on investing in one of the most legendary cities in the world.
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