Sabah – The 20th edition of the BIO International Convention taking place in Chicago, USA includes a strong presence of public institutions, associations and companies from Turkey coordinated by the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT).
Showcasing the country’s rapidly growing pharmaceutical and biotech sectors to an audience of 15,000 visitors from 65 countries, the large Turkish participation in the key event of the global industry also spotlights the government’s focus on making the country an investment hub for biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and related fields.
In a speech given during the opening ceremony for the Turkish pavilion, Turkey’s Minister of Health, Mehmet Muezzinoglu, said that the country was on track to become a center of medical tourism and drew attention to the increasing healthcare and pharmaceuticals-related research and development activities taking place in Turkey. “Medical tourism is the strategic answer to the current account deficit in pharmaceuticals. Turkey’s healthcare facilities offer high-quality services for affordable prices, half the cost of a similar treatment in Europe..”, Muezzinoglu said comparing Turkey with Europe.
Generous incentives are granted for biotechnology investments in Turkey, including procurement guarantees for up to 7 years, as the government considers the sector strategic, the Minister said, adding that local production was given the highest priority.
Speaking of Turkey’s strategic location, Muezzinoglu advised global investors to take note of the country’s status as a strong regional actor with an increasing international influence. “Turkey’s unique location between Asia and Europe is crucial for easy access to nearby markets. The immediate vicinity has a combined market of about 500 million people while a population of a billion is within 5 hours of flight time...”, the Minister said calling for biotech companies seeking new growth markets to consider Turkey and hinted of a large scale investment from a US company being close to announcement.
Coordinating the state and private sector participation from Turkey to this year’s BIO International Convention, ISPAT held a session entitled “Turkey – An Investment Hub for Growth in Biotech” to demonstrate Turkey’s investment opportunities in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
“Multinational companies keep an eye on Turkey. At its current size of USD 67 billion, Turkey has the 14th largest pharmaceuticals market in the world and 6th largest in Europe..”, ISPAT President Ilker Ayci said at the event, foreseeing the market volume to reach USD 170 billion by 2023.
The ISPAT President likened the BIO event to the World Economic Forum annually held in Davos, Switzerland in importance and scope, saying, “Turkey attracted a total of USD 850 million in healthcare investments last year. Strong prospects of growth indicate to a lot of opportunities for foreign pharma manufacturers to invest in Turkey either on their own or in partnership with a Turkish company…”
“Turkey allocates 1 percent of its GDP to R&D efforts. Having a R&D budget that corresponds to 3 percent of our GDP by 2023 is a national goal..” Ayci remarked. “This means doubling the R&D expenditures for the pharmaceutical industry, currently at USD 60 million, over the next 5 years..”, he added.
134 of some 300 pharmaceutical companies operating in Turkey are either foreign owned or partnered.
For more information about Turkey’s participation to 2013 BIO International Convention, please check: