Turkey is definitely the right place to be at the right time

The quote above is what M. Ilker Avci, Director of the Turkish Investment Support and Promotion Agency – TYDTA) affiliated to the Prime Minister’s Office, has to say. According to Avci: “Turkey is in the midst of one of its most successful periods of economic of appeal in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and being rankedgrowth and has been climbing the ranks very rapidly among countries 9th among developing countries and 13th worldwide in 2012. The  stability and rapid growth achieved thanks to the implementation of rational macroeconomic policies have made Turkey into the world’s 18th and the EU’s 7th largest economy”.

Turkey presents great potential in terms of numerous investment opportunities for foreign companies. While Turkey holds fast to its determination to become one of the ten largest economies in the world within the next ten years, experts concur on the view that foreign investment in the country will continue to increase. Kadir Cenk Ulukartal, Member of the Board of Management of Integral Securities, states that in 2013 Turkey may attract around USD 17 billion in foreign direct investments.

One of the most important developments in recent times has been the increase of Turkey’s ratings by Fitch, the international credit ratings agency. The “Investable Country Rating” is expected to bring a heavy flow of funds into Turkey. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, in 2012-2013 Turkey, which has been regularly increasing its competitive power, rose by 16 ranks at once in the competitiveness league and was included among the first 43 among 142 countries.

Turkey has also been carrying out many projects aiming to bring about an increase in employment opportunities and to lower unemployment rates. For example the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has provided employment for 4,444 persons in Istanbul alone through the Specialized Vocational Centers – Skills 10 project. The project, which aims to raise employment and train qualified staff by providing unemployed people with professional training, is continuing at full steam. The project aims to provide 1 million people with employment by 2015.

According to forecasts by the OECD, in 2011-2017, Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing economy among OECD members with an annual average growth of 6.7%. According to forecasts by the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company, Turkey’s electricity need will increase by 6% between 2009-2023. Investments to meet Turkey’s energy needs are expected to reach a total of USD 130 billion by 2023.

As is the case all over the world, in Turkey the construction sector is also directly affected by the general economic situation. Although the sector growth, which has been registered as 1.5% for the first six months and has receded to 1.0% in the first nine month period, may be considered worrying at first sight, the increase of 28.7% in the surface area of buildings given building licenses in the first nine months of the year raises the hope that there may be a recovery in 2013. By attracting 26,1 billion USD in new business abroad in 2012, Turkish contractors have achieved a first in the 42 years since they first undertook business abroad and have reached a level of performance that may be referred to as a “HISTORICAL PEAK.” When we take into consideration that the volume of new business undertaken in 2002 was of USD 2,6 billion, we see that this performance represents a ten-fold increase over a period of 10 years.

Minister of Economy M. Zafer Caglayan says the following about their expectations in this field: “Our aim is to raise the annual business turnover of our foreign contracting sector, which is one of the leading sectors for our economy, to 50 billion USD by 2015 and to 100 billion USD by 2023”.

There is no doubt that Turkey is also being affected by the winds of global economy, but if we make a correct use of our advantages, there is no need for not feeling hopeful for 2013.

Oya Bakir,Ph.D.
oyabakir@dogayayin.com