Invest News DetailToday’s Zaman - Turkey is a place where thousands of lucrative opportunities are available, Alpaslan Korkmaz, President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), said on Tuesday while calling on businessmen to invest in Turkey. Delivering the opening speech at “Belgium and Turkey: Business and Investment Opportunities,” an event jointly organized by the Belgian Ministry for the Economy, the Turkish Business Association Brussels (TOSED) and ISPAT, Korkmaz noted that Turkey has made significant progress in recent years. Pointing to a recent study which foresaw the Turkish economy becoming the ninth largest economy in the world by 2015, Korkmaz said Turkey is now the world's 15th and the European Union's sixth largest economy. Korkmaz said Turkey is making progress in numerous fields and offers investors great opportunities. While Turkey attracted USD 17 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) during 2003, he stressed that this figure has risen to USD 78 billion over the last five years. “We are among the 15 countries which will be attracting investment till 2010. Turkey is one of the few countries that have managed to rapidly overcome the global financial crisis.” He enumerated the significant drop in inflation rates, the rise in the utilization index of Turkish industry and the rising trend in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as recent successes of the Turkish economy. Turkey has a young population and has completed infrastructural reforms, he added. For these reasons, Turkey has become a popular place to invest in, Korkmaz stated, adding, “Turkey is a place where thousands of opportunities are available.” “Turkey has a promising future,” Rudi Thomaes, President of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises, said. “We should talk about Turkey instead of China because Turkey is among 11 countries that have a bright future.” He added that, as Belgian businessmen, they have also witnessed positive improvements in Turkey. The meeting was also attended by Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Belgian Economy Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne.