Sabah - Record economic growth rate, declining unemployment and increasing foreign investments, point to Turkey’s becoming a “safe haven” for foreign investors. Foreign investment wise, the first months of 2012 saw the origins of investments that Turkey received shift to Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Up until 2011, Europeans were the leading foreign investors in the country.
More than 30 foreign companies invested in Turkey in the past three months, the latest entries being Indian tractor producer Sonalika, planning an assembly plant in Turkey, and British fair and exhibition organizer firm REED, acquiring stakes from Turkish Tuyap Fuarcilik.
Similary, French airport operator Aeroports de Paris Group acquired a 38 percent share in Turkish airport operator TAV last week for a deal of USD 874 million. The acquisition of 20 percent of the shares of the Iskenderun Port on Turkey’s Mediterranean shore is under negotiation between the port’s current operator Limak Holding and Luxembourg-based Inframinervois. Germany’s Phoenix Solar, Gehrlicher Solar and Soventix, all solar companies, entered the Turkish market via partnership with local firms.
The Middle East-based investors like Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank partnered with ready-wear company Silk & Cashmere, while the UAE’s Agthia acquired Turkish spring water brand Pelit Su. Investors from the Far East such as Japanese steelmaker Toyo Kohan signed a partnership deal with Tosyali Holding to establish a JV to produce flat steel. Another Far Easterner, Malaysian Khazanah, bought 75 percent stakes of the Acibadem Hospitals Group via its subsidiary, Integrated Healthcare Holdings. The ruler of Brunei Sultanate invested USD 100 million in Turkish food giant Ulker’s vegetable oil company Marsa.
Commenting on the increased investments to the country during the first months of the year, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) President Ilker Ayci said foreign investments in January alone reached USD 930 million, up from the level of USD 460 million in January 2010. “There is regional and sectoral diversification in investments we have received this year. We are aiming to surpass last year’s total of USD 15.7 billion, and to hit USD 20 billion,” he added.