Referans - Many foreign companies have declared Turkey a base to reach Turkic Republics, the Middle East, Africa and Balkans. And these companies say they are satisfied with the decision they have made and they find Turkey’s human resources qualified.
“There is a considerable increase in the number of the international companies that have made Turkey their regional base,” said Mustafa Alper, secretary general of the International Investors Association (YASED). “Almost all of the world's biggest 500 companies have offices in Turkey.”
Alper expects hard numbers on this trend, gleaned from a member survey, to be available around the New Year, he said.
PROCTER & GAMBLE
Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) moved to Istanbul more than a decade ago. The city serves as headquarters for operations in Turkey, the Caucasus, the Central Asian republics, and, since last year, Israel.
“It excites us to manage a dynamic, ever-growing market with a strong crew,” Hayrunnisa Aligil, foreign relations director for Procter and Gamble (P&G) Turkey, recently told the business daily Referans.
Valued at $11 billion, P&G now operates in 23 countries, Benetton, which entered Turkey in 1985 as the country's first international ready-to-wear company, uses the country as a base for doing business in Turkmenistan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Its Istanbul office also supplies products to all the Middle East.
“We are located at a key point geographically and have a young, disciplined, professional corporate team,” said Benetton Turkey Managing Director Zeynep Selgur. “That has made us into a regional base.”
Conglomerate BASF – which boasts chemical, plastics, agricultural ,and several other sectors – in 2005 joined its Turkish headquarters and Dubai branches here under the roof of Business Center Turkey, Middle East & North Africa. The country's motivated, skilled and efficient work force influenced the company's decision to strike roots in Istanbul, as did Turkey's dynamic market, offering high growth potential in many sectors, said BASF CEO Gerhard W. Schwarz.
BSH, which has become Turkey's largest foreign-held appliance firm, has managed its Middle East and Caucasus sales, marketing and post-sale services from Turkey since 1999. “BHS is constantly investing in Turkey, increasing employment and exporting half of our production,” said company CEO Norbert Klein.
Unilever's Turkish holdings, valued at YTL 100 million, are indicators of its faith in the Turkish economy, said local company spokesman Ebru Şenel Erim. The Istanbul office's vast market ranges from Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Georgia, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan in the East to Macedonia, Albania, Moldova, Romania, Kosovo and Bosnia in the West.
International transport and logistics company DHL Express has been operating in Turkey since 1981. The company, which also has holdings in the textile, automotive, banking and high technology sectors, intends to make Turkey a regional hub in the upcoming years, in keeping with business growth.