Turkey should stick to EU anchor to boost FDI: YASED vice chair

Turkey should stick to EU anchor to boost FDI: YASED vice chair

Öykü Aluntaş / ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Turkey should stick to EU anchor to boost FDI: YASED vice chair Turkey should cling to its European Union membership target in a bid to boost foreign investors’ trust and increase its foreign direct investment (FDI) flow share of 1 percent, the vice chair of the International Investors Association (YASED) has said.

Turkey has covered a “major distance” in investments due to its EU legislation process since 2004 and should not “give up on its EU anchor,” YASED vice chair Tankut Turnaoğlu told Doğan News Agency in an interview on June 21. 

“The EU legislation process should speed up and continue, and more chapters should be opened. Today, even though we have not entered the EU, if our judicial and legal frameworks are set in accordance with the EU via these chapters, international investors’ trust in Turkey would increase,” Turnaoğlu said, following YASED’s press conference announcing the latest World Investment Report for 2015.

“Political discourses are certainly important. However, these sorts of strategic and rooted relations should not be considered short-run,” he said, when asked how Turkey’s loosened EU accession talks would influence the FDI share in 2016, underlining the country’s “very strong integration” to the EU. 

Turkey to show great development, even if EU membership not achieved

“Today, 50 percent of our exports go to Europe. Our commercial code is especially integrated. Turkey can have great economic development even if it is not a member of the European community, through a legal and executive system in parallel with Europe, as a strong country which secures its EU legislation process,” he said.

According to Turnaoğlu, the EU process, which has made a “significant contribution to Turkey’s development” since 2004, should not “lose its momentum.”

‘Investors seek political stability, legal security’

Turkey took a 1 percent share of the entire FDI flow in 2015 and became the 20th most popular destination for FDI inflow in 2015, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Turnaoğlu called for faster “structural changes” to increase this share to 3 percent.

“An outward-oriented, competitive framework offering investors easier procedures and foreseeable conditions would be an asset,” he said.

Investors look for parameters including “political and economic stability and demographic, cultural conditions,” he added. “Turkey in fact has a certain economic stability as it has been growing for 29 quarters, marking the fastest increase in Europe, in this regard. That is why Turkey maintained a 1 percent FDI share,” he added.

He also urged that structural changes to boost the qualified labor force were as important as political and economic stability, adding legal security and predictability were crucial elements for investors.