With a record-breaking growing economy, and receding unemployment figures, Turkey has become a prime global example economy, which has also caught the attention of foreign investors. Foreign investment, which was Europe-focused up until 2011, has now veered towards Asia and the Middle East, with Turkey becoming a safe haven to invest.
There is a fast rise in the number of foreign companies entering Turkey at present, with over 30 companies having invested over the past three months. Indian tractor producers Sonalika as well as the world's largest fair company REED Exhibition have now also entered Turkey. England's REED, which raked in nine billion Euros in revenue last year, will soon be purchasing 50 percent of shares in Tüyap's fair organization firm.
A PUBLIC INVESTMENT FROM THE EU
While Britain's REED is planning to invest 25 million dollars, Indian tractor firm Sonalika's General Director Deepak Mittal notes that markets in Turkey and Algeria are growing fast and adds, "We want to establish an assembly line in both of these countries." Last week, there were a series of back to back infrastructure investments that came from Europe. While the French Aeroport de Paris bought 38 percent of TAV for 874 million dollars, the Luxembourg based, Inframinervois, funded jointly by the French and Italian governments, joined negotiations to purchase 20 percent of the Iskenderun Port. When it comes to energy, the Germans, with Phoenix, Soventic and Gehrlicher, have also signed on to partnership agreements with Turkish firms. The year kicked off with a series of investments from Middle Eastern firms including, Eastgate, the investment branch of Saudi Arabia's largest bank the National Commercial Bank (NCB) which partnered with Silk&Cashmere and the Dubai based food company Agthia, which purchased shares from the Adanalı Pelit Su brand.
Investments rain in from Asia
In the final days of last year, the Japan-based Malaysian investment fund Khazanah and Integrated Healthcare (IHH) purchased 75 percent of Acıbadem for 1.6 billion dollars, while steel giants Toyo Kohan invested in a joint company with Tosyalı Holding. Brunei Sultanı signed on to a 100 million dollar collaboration with the Ülker family's Marsa Yağ while Singapore's Philip Capital took over Hak Menkul.
"WE BEGAN 2012 WITH A 75% INCREASE"
According to Turkey's Investment Support and Promotion Agency Chairman İlker Aycı, in 2010 foreign investors brought in 460 million dollars to Turkey via investments. "This year, there is both regional and sector diversity. In January, the amount of foreign investment compared to the same month the year prior had realized a 75% increase, reaching 930 million dollars. This year, we want to surpass the 15.7 billion dollar investment figure for 2011, by reaching 20 billion dollars."
The giants meet in Istanbul
When it comes to investments from the United States, it is the scope of mega-companies that are coming that draws attention. Wal-Mart made their first investment with the Asda chain and added GAAT, their strategic partners in Turkey, under their umbrella. The United States' Eaten Corporation, which has 15 billion dollar revenue and 70,000 employees, made their first entrance in Turkey in Çerkezköy. Eaton took over Polimer Kauçuk, a firm which raked in 335 million dollars in revenue last year. Meanwhile, Genband has decided to move their center in Canada to Turkey, and in another noteworthy collaboration, Carlyle became a 48 percent shareholder in Bahçeşehir Colleges.