The Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) held a roadshow in the US during the first week of November in order to meet with investors in Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Chicago to bridge the perception gap that might have been discouraging them from taking a fresh look at Turkey.
ISPAT first talked up Turkey’s lucrative investment opportunities at a roundtable meeting hosted by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and the World Trade Center Atlanta. During his speech at the meeting, ISPAT President Arda Ermut talked about how with a bilateral trade volume of USD 17.5 billion in 2016, the US ranked 5th in Turkey’s exports and was 4th in its imports that year. “Because of the importance we place upon the US, we very often organize roadshows, top-tier meetings, and programs here. We have attended plenty of investment related seminars all around the US in recent years and have collaborated with US institutions and business associations,” added Ermut.
The ISPAT delegation, accompanied by Procter & Gamble Turkey-Caucasus Vice President and General Manager Tankut Turnaoğlu, then visited Procter & Gamble global headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The final leg of the roadshow saw Ermut come together with leaders of the Turkish-US business community at a dinner reception hosted by the Turkish Consulate in Chicago. Ermut also delivered a guest lecture on the history and future of US-Turkey business ties to MBA students at the University of Chicago - Booth School of Business.
Hot topics at the meetings also suggested that Turkey’s young population and deep internet and smartphone penetration provide opportunities for mega multinational companies. Turkey now has 20 cities with more than a million people.
The banking sector is also largely open to foreign investment, providing potential ins for US financial technology and payments giants. Ermut expressed interest in connecting the burgeoning startup scene in the US to entrepreneurial efforts on the ground in Turkey.
More importantly, incentives are the icing on the cake of a location where companies can easily reach promising markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. Ermut also said that within four hours’ flight from Turkey exists a combined market of 1.6 billion people and a combined GDP of USD 26 trillion.