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Turkey’s economy thrives and attracts investment in spite of global economic downturn

Article - November 30, 2011
"Stability is one of the first things an investor looks at when considering investing in a foreign market and Turkey has achieved this"

Confucius once said, “He who does not economize will have to agonize.” As the world continues to endure the worst recession in almost a century, the global economy is certainly agonizing over solutions to bring its books out of the red.

While the worst hit regions remain in the Western markets, many of the emerging economies have been enjoying comfortable growth. In a recent interview with Turkey’s Minister of Customs and Trade, Mr Hayati Yazici, we explored how Turkey’s resilience during the recession has not only made itself stronger, but also why it is still attracting 80% of its foreign direct investment from the stricken European Union.

Stability is one of the first things an investor will look at when considering investing in a foreign market and Turkey has certainly achieved this. Since the AK party took power in November 2002, the nation has enjoyed stable growth across all sectors and in particular trade. With an increase of 16.4% from the former year, Turkey’s exports reached $10.72 billion during the month of September alone.

In a recent press conference, Mehmet Buyukeksi, head of the Turkish Exporters Assembly, stated that Turkey had attracted $9.1 billion of foreign direct investment in the first seven months of the year. With initial concerns that Turkey’s economy would receive short-term investments it has become clear that this is not hot money, but real investment.

Turkey’s long-term strength lies not only in its robust economy but also its weighted youth population that represents 54% of society. “A young population is a very good resource for a country.” Stated Minister Yazici. “As you know, we are living in a global village and this shows that relationships and distances between people are reduced, so young people are following advance in technology very closely.” It is the government’s intention to ensure that as this young population moves forward in its technological advances and that their interests will be protected. Starting in July 2012, Turkey will establish a new Commercial court, specifically designed to protect intellectual property and industrial rights. It is estimated that the direct cost of counterfeiting domestically is $2.4 billion with a labour loss of 135,000 people.

Turkey is a world leader in customs standards and has been recognized by the World Customs Administration on numerous occasions, in particular in combating the smuggling of narcotics. With its numerous international borders, the European Union have been working closely with Turkish Customs to ensure that they are given the necessary cooperation to promote more efficient and safer border control. To date the EU have given just over €80 million Euros in assistance.