Iranians not only tourists, but ardent investors in Turkey

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 29.07.2019 00:11

Iranians continue to take greater interest in investing in Turkey, according to a statement issued by Elit Citizenship and Investment Consultancy, which offers consultancy services to foreigners in Turkey about company founding and investments under the brand of VIPTurkishPass.

While 3 million Iranian tourists visit Turkey annually, a remarkable increase has also been seen in the number of Iranians investing in Turkey.

In the last few years, Iranians are ranked second after Iraqis in buying houses in Turkey and first in applying for Turkish citizenship through investment. In addition, in the first six months of 2019, they are also ranked first among foreigners who have made direct capital investments by opening companies in Turkey.

Having started to implement a series of policies aimed at attracting foreign direct capital in recent years, Turkey has come to attract a number of investors from many countries in the region, especially from the Middle East.

After the "Turkuaz Kart" (Turquoise Card), a practice similar to the U.S. Green Card application, was launched in 2016, it became possible to get Turkish citizenship by investing in the country as of 2017.

In September 2018, lowering the minimum investment limit in the Citizenship Through Investment Program to $250,000 in real estate investments led to an increase in foreigners' interest in the country.

While a significant portion of foreign direct investment in Turkey has been made in the real estate industry, there has also been a remarkable increase in direct capital investment in the recent period.

According to the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette data, 559 foreign-owned joint stock companies and 5,622 foreign-owned limited companies were established in Turkey in the January-June 2019 period. The total capital of these companies is TL 2.04 billion while TL 700.86 million of it has been brought by foreign capital holders.

According to the data, the amount of foreign capital investment in Turkey has exceeded 83%. With this capital ratio, the amount of direct capital investment made by foreign nationals in Turkey in the first half of 2019 has pushed TL 1.8 billion. It is estimated that the foreign capital investment commitment to Turkey will exceed TL 4 billion by the end of the year.

Foreigners' great interest in capital investment in Turkey is also confirmed by the statistics of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) about the companies opened and closed in Turkey. The statistics indicate that foreigners take a great interest in founding companies in Turkey, especially in Istanbul.

While 63% of the foreign-capitalized companies established in the January-June 2019 period are registered at the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), the amount of foreign capital brought to Istanbul has neared TL 1.2 billion. In the first six months of the year, a total of 362 joint stock companies and 3,530 limited companies were established by foreigners in Istanbul. In terms of the number of companies opened, Istanbul is followed by Antalya, Gaziantep, Ankara and Mersin, respectively.

As far as the field of activity of these companies goes, wholesale trade in stores which are not allocated to a particular property comes to the fore among foreign-capitalized companies from January 2019 to June 2019.

A total of 770 out of these companies have been established to operate in this area.

Iranians set up trade,

finance busınesses

Iranians are also ranked first in opening companies and making direct capital investments in Turkey in the first half of 2019.

The number of companies founded by Iranians in Turkey soared to 298 in 2016, 357 in 2017 and 1,019 in 2018 when the U.S. embargo was launched. In the first six months of 2019, a total of 513 Iran-capitalized companies were built in Turkey, including 33 joint stock companies, up by 40% compared to the same period last year.

From January to June 2019, Iranians founded 233 companies in wholesale and retail trade, 53 in finance and insurance business, 53 in accommodation and food, 48 in the manufacturing industry, 40 in administrative and support service activities and 26 in professional, scientific and technical activities.

Fatih Çayabatmaz, the Tehran representative of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) and the general manager of Elit Citizenship and Investment Consultancy, stated that Iranians like to invest in Turkey.

"Turkey has become a single route for the Iranian capital especially after the U.S. embargo was imposed. We expect this interest to continue to grow in the upcoming years as well," he said.

Çayabatmaz emphasized that Iranians investing in Turkey are most actively involved in wholesale and retail marketing and trade, saying that they are founding companies for the purpose of exporting products not covered by the embargo via Turkey as well as importing them to the Turkish domestic market.

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