ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
İzzet Karaca, the head of Turkey’s International Investor’s Association (YASED) AA photo
The amount of foreign direct investment in Turkey may exceed $16 billion by the end of the year, the president of Turkey’s International Investors Association (YASED) has said.
The Turkish economy has attracted $6.5 billion in foreign direct investment in the first six months of the year, Unilever Turkey Chief executive İzzet Karaca said, adding that Turkey can become a developed country without being a member of the European Union, like Switzerland.
“Europe is naturally a very important player and I support Turkey’s EU membership bid, but it is not our only solution. Turkey can become a country like Switzerland in its location. Similar to Switzerland’s role in Europe, Turkey can be tied to Europe
and [have much more active relations with] the surrounding Middle Eastern and Turkic countries and Russia,” Karaca said, adding that this year’s total direct foreign investment may surpass $16 billion.
“Global foreign direct investments amounted to $1.5 trillion last year. Turkey has not reached the pre-crisis level of up to $21 billion in foreign direct investments,” Karaca said. Turkey’s share in last year’s global foreign direct investments was slightly more than one percent, up from 0.7 percent the previous year, he said.
Given the fact that the world’s 10th largest economy attracts about $43 billion in foreign direct investment according to UNCTAD data, Turkey should attract about $50 billion in direct foreign investments in order to realize its goal of being one of the 10 largest economies in the world by 2023, Karaca said.
Capital from Persian Gulf countries will flow in to Turkey as those countries continue to register current account surpluses, while the Turkish economy has a huge deficit, Karaca said.