8/17/2009

ISPAT president works to promote international investments in Turkey

Sunday’s Zaman - The Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) is established to promote Turkey's investment opportunities to investors abroad and to serve as an information hub for them. ISPAT President Alpaslan Korkmaz emphasizes that his Agency uses the concept of “love” in its marketing language, which he says adds elements of sympathy and confidence to their serious work. The ISPAT uses the slogan “Investors Love Turkey, Turkey Loves Investors” in much of its work, Korkmaz noted. “We've based our promotional work on the concept of “love”. Global brands love Turkey and Turkey loves them. This awakens a sympathetic, positive feeling. When we say “Microsoft and Mango love Turkey and Turkey loves Microsoft and Mango”, we're also drawing attention to something else -- in the background it shows evidence of self-confidence. Turkey trusts itself, the language tells you”, says Korkmaz. Korkmaz says that to boost the confidence of potential investors, ISPAT promotes the testimonials of those who have already invested in Turkey, in addition to its love-based slogans. The informational bulletins ISPAT has been sending out for the past two years feature the views of representatives of companies with a strong presence in Turkey. “Microsoft's biggest base of operations outside Seattle is located in Turkey. There are almost 90 countries [in which Microsoft operates] that have Turkey as their center of operations. There are roughly 200 countries in the world; Microsoft basically runs half of the world from Turkey in terms of operations”, he said. Korkmaz says he phoned Microsoft to inquire as to whether they were pleased with Turkey as their second largest base of operations. “When they said they were happy, we asked if they would help us tell that to the world. I went and did the same thing for Mango, Toyota, HSBC, Hyundai and other companies, while all of the responses I got were positive”, says Korkmaz, adding that it was only after this point that an interesting development took place. “Companies actually began calling us, saying, ‘We have investments in Turkey too, why didn't you ask for our views in your campaign to promote Turkey?' We said ‘Come on over, we'll take those views as well.’ In the first year of our efforts, we made some requests for statements; however by the second year, we were being flooded by company requests.” Turkey's young population is an advantage for both Turkey and foreign investors, he said, noting that according to the United Nations’ estimates, Turkey will remain the only European country in which the percentage of young people will grow steadily over the next 41 years. ISPAT encourages new investors looking at the world map to look at Turkey a bit more carefully, reminding them of Turkey's central geographical location and the impact of this in terms of serving as an economic and cultural bridge between different regions. Many multinational companies have realized and taken advantage of this, Korkmaz stressed. “They visit Turkey to evaluate its advantageous location and many of them end up setting up their main offices here”, he said.