Turkish FDI picking up, may top USD 9-10 billion in 2010

Guardian.co.uk - Foreign investment in Türkiye is picking up and may top this year's target of USD 9-10 billion in 2010, said Alpaslan Korkmaz, President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Türkiye (ISPAT), the country's official investment agency . Korkmaz told Reuters in an interview that inflows of capital will focus on sectors including energy, infrastructure, agriculture and food, as well as finance and insurance. He said a Gulf investor was poised to announce an investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars either this year or early next year, although he did not disclose further details. "We feel an improvement now. Companies which suspended their investment projects are now reconsidering them. Next year will most probably be better than this year", he said. FDI into Türkiye totaled USD 18.2 billion in 2008 and USD 22 billion in 2007, but the financial crisis reduced inflows to the country sharply, with 2009's amount equal to that seen in 2005. Strong economic growth from 2002 until 2007 was mirrored by soaring foreign investment, particularly in Türkiye's banking sector, by firms eager to reach a youthful, increasingly affluent population of some 72 million. Korkmaz said despite falling inflows, overall investment in Türkiye's renewable energy sector increased in 2009 and energy will be a major focus in 2010. Türkiye, a net energy importer, is looking to profile itself as an energy hub and key transit country. Insurance will also be a focus given Türkiye has one of the lowest percentages of insured people in Europe, he said. Türkiye's Akbank said in October it was seeking a strategic partner for its Aksigorta insurance unit. Korkmaz added he does not believe the Dubai debt debacle will hit Gulf investment into Türkiye, and that emerging peers such as Russia, China and India will increasingly invest in Türkiye. The new generation of Chinese cars could be made in Türkiye he said, taking advantage of Türkiye's proximity to the Middle Eastern market.