Turkey a door to regionÂ’s markets

Posted on 14 February 2011

Date: 26/06/2009
Turkey a door to region’s markets

ISTANBUL – US-based companies are increasingly interested in Turkey, as they consider the country as a gateway to markets, such as northern Iraq, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, says Rahsan Cebe, chairwoman of the American Business Forum in Turkey. Construction sector is especially attractive, she says

U.S.-based companies are increasingly interested in using Turkey as a gateway to enter markets in northern Iraq, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, according to Rahsan Cebe, the newly elected chairwoman of American Business Forum in Turkey, or ABFT.

“The ABFT is currently getting a lot of inquiries from U.S. firms interested in doing business in northern Iraq in cooperation with Turkish firms,” said Cebe, who was appointed to the two-year post last week and is also managing partner at Cushman & Wakefield’s Istanbul operation. “A lot of U.S. construction firms, for example, know Turkish companies are very active in northern Iraq, and are looking to enter the market in cooperation with them.”

Cebe, a law graduate from the London School of Economic and Political Science, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review that U.S. firms are increasingly interested in investing in Turkey, but that there is still a need to further develop the regulatory side of things.

Last year, foreign direct investment in Turkey totaled $14.7 billion, of which $859 million, or 5.8 percent, came from the United States. Between the years 2004 and 2008, U.S. investments in Turkey made up some 9.9 percent of the total foreign direct investment inflow.

“U.S. firms are mainly interested in the Turkish finance, insurance, energy, automotive, food and beverage sectors,” Cebe said. “Pharmaceutical companies are also interested in investing in Turkey. But there are a lot of issues like intellectual property rights that they want to have cleared up. We want to help the government make the laws required.”

Recently, U.S. firms have also become more interested in the Turkish real estate sector, Cebe said, noting that interest in the Turkish property market is increasing not only because of the dynamics of the market, but also thanks to the approach of the current government, which has largely succeeded in clarifying the regulations on property ownership. “Turkish shopping-center development is already attracting notable investors,” Cebe said. “The fact that Turkey’s high-street shopping culture is budding and that many cities still lack shopping malls all together also add to the potential in the market.”

Source Hurriyet 26th June 09

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