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Istanbul remains motoring power of Turkey's economy

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 8/25/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Istanbul continues to beat as the heart of the Turkish economy, creating 22 percent of gross national product and paying 45 percent of the country’s total taxes.

One of the most important financial centers of the world, Istanbul continues to beat as the heart of the Turkish economy, creating 22 percent of gross national product and paying 45 percent of the country’s total taxes.

As an expanding city with population of around 13 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat, Istanbul is the platform for more than 50 percent of total trade between Turkey and other countries.

According to recent TurkStat data, 13,613 out of 22,055 international companies located in Istanbul have hosted 76 percent of the foreign direct investment in the last 5 years.

The average bank deposit per capita has risen to 16,500 Turkish Liras in Istanbul while the average for the whole of Turkey remained at only 6,440 liras.

Turkey’s capital, Ankara, has taken in 8.5 percent of gross national product so far this year. The city exported $4.9 billion and imported $16.5 billion last year. In the first six months of the year, 2,639 companies exported nearly $2.6 billion. Ankara has also received $1.2 billion in investment incentives in the first half of the year.

Turkey’s third largest city İzmir has started to show the first signs of a recovery. In the first half of the year, the number of newly registered companies rose by 24 percent. Still, unemployment remains above average for the country.

“With recent plans for investment in İzmir, we expect nearly $7 billion to be pumped into the city that might create employment opportunities for as many as 20,000 people,” according to the chairman of the Aegean Region Chamber of Industry, or EBSO.

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