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News: Turkey key destination for Brits

Wed, 31 Oct 07

The Republic of Turkey made significant steps toward achieving its goal of becoming one of the top five most attractive countries for foreign direct investment, following a recent visit to the United Kingdom...           

A delegation of Turkish government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with Gordon Brown’s cabinet, boosting Turkey’s position as a key destination for British investors.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of new Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), Alpaslan Korkmaz.

Rounding up their visit to London, the Prime Minister and his investment agency ISPAT hosted an event for representatives from British businesses and organisations. In his keynote speech, Prime Minister Erdogan continued to emphasise the importance of British investment to Turkey’s development, and hoped to see this relationship grow over the coming years.

Strategic location

Alpaslan Korkmaz, president of ISPAT, shared with guests the fact that Turkey is experiencing great economic expansion, with an annual GDP growth of 7.4 per cent over the past five years.

With its large, skilled workforce of over 24.6 million, its cultural propensity for hard work and low rates of absenteeism, Turkey has become the 13th most attractive country for foreign investment in the world.

Being strategically located between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, Turkey is in prime position for production, trade and business, providing substantial investment opportunities between the East and West.

Korkmaz added that “between 2002 and 2006 export revenues in Turkey have almost doubled to $86 billion (£42.2 billion). By the end of the year that amount will surpass $100 billion (£49 billion).”

Korkmaz also highlighted the key elements of Turkey’s structural reform agenda, including measures to encourage private sector investment.

Significant expansion

The opening of key markets to competition was emphasised in addition to regulation by independent agencies and an accelerated plan for privatisation. New plans were also announced regarding laws to support R&D and innovation within the country.

In recent years, Turkey has become a key investment destination for a number of high profile companies including Tesco, Cadbury Schweppes and Vodafone. In response to the growing domestic demand for financial and credit services, HSBC has a significant expansion plan for the Turkish market.

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