ISPAT appraised among top ranking IPIs

According to a study by the Investment Climate Advisory Service (the renamed Foreign Investment Advisory Service), jointly funded by International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the World Bank entitled “Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking 2009”, Turkey’s young but ambitious Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) ranks relatively well among much older and experienced institutions from various competing countries around the world. The study, aiming to assess the performance of national and sub-national promotion agencies working to draw FDI by providing services and information to potential investors, shows that the newcomer ISPAT is on the right track. While the report does not cover the overall competitiveness level of various countries and their respective investment climates, it is a reliable means of testing an Investment Promotion Intermediary’s (IPI) performance by “simulating” common investor requests. After providing the IPI with two mock projects, a beverage-manufacturing company and a software developer seeking to expand their operations, the IPI is evaluated in terms of availability and accessibility, responsiveness and handling, response and customer care in the early stages of a possible investment. In his column in the daily Today’s Zaman, renowned journalist Asim Erdilek mentions the high grades ISPAT achieved in the World Bank study and praises both the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the establishment of the agency and ISPAT President Alpaslan Korkmaz for his efforts in ISPAT’s huge progress: “Turkey's IPI, the Prime Ministry's Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT), referred to as Invest in Turkey (www.invest.gov.tr), whose motto is “Your One-stop Shop in Turkey,” passed the assessment with flying colors. Overall ISPAT is ranked 15th among the top-25 national IPIs, headed by Austria, in the world. Turkey's overall score falls into good performance, below best practice. Although ISPAT's web site is not among the top-25 IPI web sites, headed by the Czech Republic, ISPAT ranks an impressive 4th among the top-25 IPIs, headed by Austria, in responding to investors' information inquiries. Turkey's inquiry-handling performance in both the beverage and software projects falls into Best Practice. According to the report, “in both inquiry exercises, Invest in Turkey's business case for investment was short but perfectly formed. Invest in Turkey provided a concise, incisive and highly polished business case that relates exactly to those factors that a company would be using to identify and select the optimal location for its sector and type of proposed operations.” “The establishment of ISPAT in 2006, thanks to the direct intervention of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan against his many naysayers, was another crucial step forward in Turkey's long-delayed emergence as a top FDI host country. ISPAT has evidently made tremendous progress since Alpaslan Korkmaz became its president in October 2006. I congratulate him and ISPAT on their remarkable achievement in such a short period and wish them continued success in attracting FDI to Turkey in these extremely hard times.”