US direct investments in Turkey falling short
ISTANBULTurkey attracted a mere $160 million in foreign direct investments (FDI) from the U.S. in the first nine months of 2014, the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) has said, in a ceremony to mark the opening of the Istanbul office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The figure amounts to only 3 percent of Turkey’s overall FDI of $5.6 billion, TOBB head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said on Nov. 18.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has opened its regional office in Istanbul to boost economic ties with Turkey and other countries in the region.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said ongoing efforts to make Turkey the center for global corporations in the region would be strengthened thanks to the office.
“The U.S. will not be 10,000 km away anymore, it will be at the heart of the city,” he said.
Turkish Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz, who was also present at the ceremony, urged for a greater trade volume between the two countries. The U.S. is currently the seventh top recipient of Turkish exports and the fifth highest exporter of goods to Turkey.
Yılmaz said U.S. direct investment in Turkey only amounted to $9 billion of the total $137 billion FDI in Turkey since 2002, adding that he expected the proportion to increase.
The new office is located in the Istanbul headquarters of the Turkish Chambers and Stock Markets Union, in the Levent district of the city.
The vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Myron Brilliant, said the Istanbul regional office was only the chamber’s second such office to be opened in the world.
The other office, in Brussels, was opened several years ago.
Brilliant added that Turkey was picked for its location as a hub between Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which provides many opportunities for businessmen.
“Think about the places where we do business: China, India, Brazil, Russia. We have chosen Turkey for a significant reason,” said Brilliant in his speech.