Turkey's strong banking sector presents substantial opportunities for business and finance

While the world economy has experienced a few difficult years, Turkey has shown strong growth, particularly in the banking sector, and has succeeded in becoming a magnet for foreign investors looking for business and finance opportunities. Its geographical location, the growing economy, demographic characteristics and increasing domestic consumption have all contributed to Turkey becoming a hotspot for commerce and investment. On one hand, Turkey has long-standing and established relations with the EU and has an EU Customs Union agreement in place whilst on the other hand its close proximity to energy exporters such as Iran, Russia and Iraq has made a positive impact on the business and finance environment due to its development in such strategic sectors. Istanbul has become a global city and countless foreign companies are established with regional offices in the city.

Turkey has many positive attributes in terms of endless business opportunities. It is a G20 member and its economy is the world’s 16th and Europe’s 6th largest economy. It has grown by 5 percent since 2002. In 2014, its GDP was 800 billion dollars while GDP per person exceeded 10,000 US dollars. Foreign trade reached a volume of 400 billion US dollars in 2014 and the country’s major foreign trade partners are Russia, Germany and Iraq. As 2014 drew to a close, there were approximately 39,000 foreign investors operating in Turkey at the time. Turkey’s directly foreign capital stock reached around 145 billion US dollars at the end of 2013.

Institutions which directly or indirectly audit Turkey’s finance sectors provide security in terms of legality and compliance in order to provide a good environment for trade investments. The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, the Capital Markets Board and the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund are all government bodies which have been established to assure a secure business environment with government regulation and auditing. Turkey’s largest trade center, Borsa Istanbul, tracks a foreign capital share of around 60 percent. The ratio of foreign capital in the banking sector was seen to be around 25 percent in the last quarter of 2014. These figures contribute to the many factors which prove that Turkey is a suitable place for foreign investors.

 

According to the data released by the Prime Minister’s office, the most popular sectors in Turkey favoured by foreign investors includes manufacturing, computer and hardware production, energy,retail trade, finance and insurance services, financial services and construction. Until now, the majority of foreign investment flowing in to Turkey has been from Europe and there has been a recent interest from Middle East companies. The main countries from which foreign investment is arriving in Turkey are, in order of priority, Germany, Iran, the United Kingdom and Holland. An important factor in this heightened interest is the ability to easily acquire financing for projects thanks to the wide variety of advanced credit markets.