1/19/2011

Turkey becomes hub for world-leading companies

Hurriyet Daily News - Turkey has become a prominent global and regional hub for many international companies in the management, production, and distribution fields, mainly due to the geographical advantages it offers, according to data gathered by Anatolia news agency.
Companies that manage operations in dozens of countries from headquarters in Istanbul also employ many Turkish senior executives, the data showed.

Coca Cola, for example, manages its operations in 90 countries throughout Eurasia and Africa from its Istanbul headquarters. Ahmet C. Bozer, a Turkish professional, chairs the group. “Turkey is a strong country due to its dynamic economy and young population,” Bozer told Anatolia News Agency. The country also serves as a central air transportation hub accommodating numerous carriers, he said.

The Turkey branch of PepsiCo, Coca-Cola’s global rival, has been acting as a regional center for 14 countries since 2008. Turkey is the center of the company’s southeastern European region, while the four other European centers of the beverage and snacks giant are based in England, France, Spain, and Russia.

Microsoft’s Middle East and Africa office in Istanbul is the software company’s center for operations in 79 countries.

Global oil firm BP also manages its liquidized petroleum gas and BP-Castrol Mineral Oil branches in numerous countries from its Turkey base. “Turkey is a special country for the company’s search for opportunities in refining and marketing,” BP Turkey Corporate Communications and Foreign Relations Director Murat Lecompte said.

Intel, another IT giant, has been managing its operations in 64 countries in the Middle East and Africa from Turkey since 2004, while U.S.-based software firm Adobe also maintains an office in Istanbul that is responsible for its Mediterranean operations.
MasterCard directs operations in 10 countries from its Turkey office, while rival Visa manages its Israel and Romania operations from Turkey.

BSH House Appliances also manages operations in 10 countries from Istanbul. Chairman Norbert Klein told Anatolia that Turkey is one the company’s leading countries in the production, logistics, service, sales, and marketing fields.

Turkey provides economic access to a large region when its surrounding countries are also taken into consideration, International Investors Association, or YASED, Chairman Piraye Antika recently told Anatolia news agency.

“I believe this is due partly to Turkey’s logistic location, partly to its more rapidly improving investment environment compared with its neighbors, and partly to its relatively sounder political stability,” she said, adding that many international companies directed their operations in surrounding countries from their Istanbul headquarters.

“But the major determinant here is geographical location and the logistic advantages supporting it. Air traffic is of the utmost importance here. I think we should not underestimate the power of our country’s high-quality labor force,” she said, adding that Turkey’s white-collar labor force was experienced, qualified, flexible, and hardworking.

She also said that Istanbul was capable of adapting to the cultures of the surrounding Balkan, Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, adding that it had established good communications with such cultures.
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