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The Development Ministry and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey join forces to tackle interregional development differences by wooing both national and international investors to various regions of Turkey

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Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz (2nd L) and TOBB Chairman Rifat Hısarcıklıoğlu (2nd R) sign a protocol to enhance cooperation between development agencies and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey.

Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz (2nd L) and TOBB Chairman Rifat Hısarcıklıoğlu (2nd R) sign a protocol to enhance cooperation between development agencies and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey.

A protocol was signed yesterday joining the forces of the development agencies of Turkey’s Ministry of Development and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK). The protocol aims to woo both Turkish and foreign investors to all regions of the country and to decrease interregional development differences, by providing potential investors with detailed regional information, which is crucial in making investment decisions.

Investors need regional and more detailed information, according to Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz.

He signed the protocol along with DEİK President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, who also heads the Union of Chamber and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). “Investors want to see project ideas, developed to a certain level, on the table beyond a few figures about the project. It is not enough to just say ‘come and invest in our country,’” Yılmaz said.

In a sense, development agencies provide sources of information and carry out serious analyses in the regions they are responsible for. Yılmaz said he cared more about the works of the agencies than financial support programs, as the consequences are much better when in-depth regional information is presented to investors. Development agencies started to be founded in 2006 to ensure the efficient use of resources, and accelerate regional development and decrease interregional development differences.

“Each of the 26 development agencies will now sign their own protocols with DEİK. This move will unite the network of the agencies with the large global network of DEİK,” Yılmaz said.

DEİK was founded by TOBB in 1986. The president of TOBB also heads DEİK. DEİK maintains commercial, industrial and financial relations with international business communities to increase industrial cooperation, widen the foreign trade network and open the Turkish service sector up to the global economy.

Luring direct investments

According to Yılmaz, a favorable investment environment is not enough to lure international direct investment to Turkey or encourage local investors. “The potential of Turkey should be reported to different regions of the world,” he said.

“In fact, TOBB and DEİK are [the partners of the Ministry of Development] ... development agencies that receive funds from the ministry budget, take part in the management of TOBB and provide financial contributions to the union,” Yılmaz said, adding that the protocol would deepen this partnership.
The differing levels of regional development are the primary problems that should be tackled, according to Hisarcıklıoğlu.

When Turkey is divided into five socio-economic regions, its most developed region contributes 45 percent to the national income, while the least developed region only contributes 3.9 percent. These differences can not be solved by the public sector alone, a fact witnessed by the last 50 years of central planning experience in Turkey, he said at the signing ceremony, according to the speech text distributed to the press.

“We believe that the development agencies, under the coordination of the honorable minister, will work to improve the foreign trade in the regions that each agency is responsible for and to attract investors,” he said.

July/20/2012

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