While Turkish investments abroad rise
Turkey is waiting for foreign investors, recently feared to be intimidated by the “trustee mechanism,” but at the same time Turkey’s international investment trend is rapidly increasing. I personally witnessed this trend last week in both Munich and Paris.
First I was in Munich, where Stepevi, a prominent company in the carpet sector in Turkey, opened its sixth store abroad, actually on one of the city’s most popular streets. Their first store abroad was opened 10 years ago in London. Since then, Stepevi has opened other stores in Paris, Milan, New York and Geneva, cities that have a high welfare level and closely monitor design and fashion. The company opened its stores in the most posh neighborhoods of these cities.
Behind this success of Stepevei abroad is no doubt the merging of centuries-old carpet tradition with modern design, technology and innovation. Their factory where 1 million square meters of carpet has been woven is the biggest integrated factory in Europe. The founders of the Stepevi brand, Ayşegül Yürekli Şengör and Cem Şengör, said the cost of opening a store abroad is between 1.5 and 2 million euros. Stepevi gains 70 percent of its turnover from overseas. You can see its products today in a wide spectrum, from hotels in Dubai to luxury lofts in Manhattan and all Cartier stores.
Right after the Munich visit, there was a meeting in Paris on the economic cooperation between Turkey and France.
One of the speakers in the meeting was Yıldırım Group CEO Yüksel Yıldırım. He said they bought 20 percent of French maritime giant CMA and added $600 million of capital. This group became the biggest port manager in Turkey. It has 20 ports and terminals around the world. Seven of them are in Portugal, two of them are in Spain and one of them is in Peru.
Meanwhile, with a $750-million investment in Ecuador, they are preparing to build the biggest container port in Latin America’s Pacific coast. The group bought Eti Krom in Turkey, which made them the fourth biggest chrome producer in the world. They have just bought coal mines in Colombia.
The Yıldırım Group has investments from Colombia to Sweden and Kazakhstan, and now they will have new investments in Gabon.
Turkey has many investors like Yıldırım who take bold steps in the global extent but who are not in the media very often.
Another speaker at the Paris meeting, Global Holding head Mehmet Kutman, is another one.
Kutman’s Global Ports Holding is growing with giant steps abroad. The company has several partnerships in ports such as Barcelona, Lisbon, Malaga, Bar and Dubrovnik. Kutman said they were preparing for the Venice port bid with their partners and they were even going as far as Cuba.
While Turkey is waiting for foreign investors, its own investors are looking for opportunities in every corner of the world.