Alpaslan Korkmaz , President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, has reached the point where he can speak of tangible investments regarding the studies he has carried out in Turkey since 2006. Mr. Korkmaz, who came to Turkey having terminated his studies conducted in the same area of subject in Switzerland at the request of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, says that, “We brought Magna International Inc., a Canadian automotive producer, to Turkey with its $500 million investment as our foreign greenfield investment. We are looking for a proper place for this investment that will provide job opportunities for 2,000-3,000 people. Magna automotive company produces some models of the brands like Mercedes and BMW as well as supplier industry production.”
Mr. Korkmaz is expecting a $300 million investment from Spain that will provide job opportunities for a number of 1,000 people living in the Black Sea region and a $5-6 billion investment from Australia that will provide job opportunities for 20,000-30,000 people. Having touched upon the significance of the “growth” investment, Mr Korkmaz states, “We diverted the direction of the new $150 million investment decision of Poliplex, which has invested $200 million in the packaging industry, from Eastern Europe to Turkey. We are expecting a $5-6 billion investment from Australia that will provide job opportunities for 20,000 people.”
Turkey attracted over $21 billion investment in 2007, 80 % of which came from the EU countries. Mr. Korkmaz now aims at diversifying the countries from which Turkey attracts foreign investments. Due to this fact, Mr. Korkmaz, who paid visits to countries as distant as China and India, tries to prevent the Turkish investments with high value added from leaving our borders.
Mr. Korkmaz, who designated USA, England, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, India and the Gulf Countries as investment bases in addition to the offices in Istanbul and Ankara, affirms, "Up until now, we have partook in 300 local and foreign investments and contacted 523 companies.”
Having solved the work permit problem of 53 people, Mr Korkmaz emphasizes, “The work permit issue is frequently brought up by the foreigners.” It is highly possible that a request received by Mr. Korkmaz will be implemented. This results from the fact that Mr. Korkmaz works directly under the Prime Minister Erdogan’s office. Ministers, governors and district governors consider the requests from Mr. Korkmaz as "orders by the Prime Minister." The foreign representatives in 11 countries are the investors in those countries, similar to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TATA in India. The “representatives” who have come to Turkey for 3 times not only met Prime Minister Erdogan but also the governors and the businessmen in the cities and regions they visited.
Mr. Korkmaz, walking around with a “Turkish flag” rosette on his collar, mentions the 5 values they have adopted under the roof of their agency: Service, trust, unity, smile and above all Turkey! Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, which has an annual budget of $30 million, came to terms with two funds- one valued at $450,000, the other at $250,000- that will be used for on-the-job training and internal budget.
During the establishment stage of the agency, they received 700 applications from the portfolios of the professional human resources companies, declared Mr. Korkmaz and added, "Among these applications, we have selected 30. Out of the selected 30 applications, 11 are young Turkish people from abroad. In the office, people communicate with each other in 10 different languages and broadcast services are provided in 10 different languages, as well.” A new section is added to the invest.gov.tr, which has been “clicked” 50,000 times in 4 months. Turkish companies which are searching for foreign partners can enter their information within this new section. As a second stage, the foreign companies will also be able to make use of this newly added function. This is called the CRM system.