Thelocal.de - The Turkish economy is the envy of the crisis-wracked Eurozone: its gross domestic product (GDP) has expanded by an annual average of 5.4 percent over the past 10 years. Its public debt has fallen below 40 percent of GDP, much lower than the majority of European countries. In addition, inflation, which was once dizzyingly high, is now under control.
"Flattening growth in (Europe) will trigger new growth and foreign direct investments in Turkey, making it an indispensable part of long-term strategic planning for European firms," consultant Roland Berger wrote in a recent study.
Turkey has a population of 74 million, more than 60 percent of which is 35 years old or younger. And with purchasing power growing from year to year, there is strong demand in areas such as infrastructure, energy, automotive and finance sector.
These are precisely the sectors where German companies excel: out of around 30,000 foreign companies in Turkey, nearly 5,000 are German, according to the German-Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Istanbul.
Indeed, the number of new German-funded companies set up in Turkey last year shot up by 14 percent to 534.
Tedrive Steering, a maker of steering systems and components for the automobile industry, is one of them. The small specialist engineering firm, based in Wülfrath in Germany's industrialized Ruhr region, has selected Turkey as the site for its first overseas assembly plant.
“The Turkish automobile market is growing fast and German technology enjoys an excellent reputation there," said the company's Chief Executive Thomas Brüse.
"A lot of German companies have long been present in Turkey, but new subsidiaries, branches and joint ventures are signing up to the chamber of commerce, a sign that they are expanding their activities in the country,” said Ralph Jäger, Deputy Chief of the Chamber of Commerce and Finance Chief of RWE Turkey.
RWE, Germany's number-two power supplier, is investing EUR 500 million (USD 615 million) in the construction of a gas-fired combined cycle power plant at Denizli, in the southwest of Turkey, to supply some 3.5 million households with electricity.
The plant is scheduled to be up and running at the end of 2012.