Turkey in pursuit of $24 bln in foreign investments, says head of investment agency
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
REUTERS photoMore than 150 new investment projects, with a total value of $24 billion, are testament to investors’ commitment in Turkey in the aftermath of the July 15 failed coup attempt, the president of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) said on Aug. 11.
ISPAT head Arda Ermut spoke to Anadolu Agency about 158 recent foreign investment decisions in Turkey.
He said the agency, which came under the Prime Minister’s Office, had talked to foreign investors with new ongoing projects in Turkey after the coup attempt.
“We asked if they would continue their investments in our country or not,” he said.
“The response we got from all the investors was that they will continue. We are closely following 158 projects now with a value of $24 billion. But, regardless of their outcome, which is not determined yet, they all will proceed.”
Ermut said he was surprised by the positive feedback from international investors following the failed coup plot.
“One of our investors from the Gulf region called his Turkish representative to get information on proceedings [after the coup attempt],” he said.
“After he learned what really happened in Turkey, he gave instructions to increase the investment volume in Turkey.”
Global companies explained their investment plans for Turkey when they meet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace in Ankara last week.
“Most of the investors at that meeting shared their new plans with President Erdoğan,” Ermut said.
“I hope these new plans will be announced as new investments in the near future. Beforehand, we plan to announce some new investments in different sectors this month in a meeting hosted by our Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in Istanbul.”
Ermut said the normalization of relations with Russia, which this week saw Erdoğan visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, would help improve investment levels.
Investments from Russia fell following the downing of a Russian fighter over the Turkey-Syria border last November.
Boost to Russian investment
“Normally, Turkey has attracted around $700 million to $900 million worth of foreign direct investment per year from Russia over the last five years,” Ermut said.
“However, the jet crisis impacted investments from this country. Now, with the normalization process, the foreign direct investment volume is not only expected to return to old levels but to be boosted to over $1 billion per year,” he added.
He predicted large-scale Russian-linked projects in Turkey’s energy and property sectors, as well as company mergers and acquisitions.
“Normalizing relations with Russia will also contribute to Turkey’s foreign investment attraction because our relations with one more country got better and investors see this as an advantage,” he said.
Referring to the joint investment fund between Turkey and Russia, he added: “This fund excites me and many others as well. Details of the plan will be determined soon and it will create a difference in terms of investments.”