ANKARA, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 19th Augst,2016) : Turkey is emerging as a prominent regional and global hub for large multinational companies because of its dynamic economy, strategic location, high-quality workforce and modern business culture, head of the International Investors Association of Turkey (YASED) said. Companies that manage operations in tens of countries from their headquarters in Istanbul also employ many top-level Turkish senior executives, Ahmet Erdem told Anadolu Agency.
According to Erdem, countries managed from Turkey constitute about 10 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). "Turkey has many benefits for investors such as being nearby the world's outstanding markets, having logistics advantage, similarity of business manners with others in its region, high-quality workforce and greatness of its market,” he said. Accurate economic policy, which was applied unwaveringly in the last 10 years, recovery in public finance, public and structural reforms are other factors that increase Turkey's competitiveness, he said.
"Automotive, banking, fast moving consumer goods, energy, logistic, healthcare, information and communication technology sectors are some of the prominent [aspects] of Turkey as a headquarter of global companies," he added. Erdem also said international direct investments in the country between 2004 and 2013 contributed $84 billion to the country’s annual GDP. "This contribution covers over 10 percent of the GDP by creating 1.9 million employment opportunities," he said.
Nearly 33 percent of YASED members, including Coca-Cola, Visa, General Electric, BP, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and The Walt Disney Company have chosen Turkey as their "epicenter" of operations, Erdem said. Coca-Cola, for example, manages its operations in more than 90 countries throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia regions from its Istanbul headquarters. Galya Frayman Molinas, president of Coca-Cola Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia Business Unit, said: "We, as Coca-Cola, will keep our investments in line [with] full confidence on Turkey's economy and its potential.
We will continue to produce and to contribute to our country's economy," According to Tankut Turnaoglu, chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble (P&G) Turkey and Caucasus, and YASED’s vice chair, "Turkey is a very suitable country to be regional headquarters and invest for consumer goods sector." Turnaoglu said especially Turkey’s geographical location, modern infrastructure, high-quality labor force and ease of doing business were the prominent factors for it to be chosen as a regional center.
"Turkey also offers very competitive raw materials procurement and workforce to foreign companies," he said, adding that opportunities to carry out exports and imports in the country were also better compared with nearby countries. “It has a strong and competitive industry and financial sector which is competing with its foreign counterparts," he said. Visa, a global payments technology company, also manages its operations of southeast European regions through Turkey since 2014.
Berna Ulman, director for southeast Europe at visa Europe, said: "Turkey is a huge market and it has a large growth potential. Visa actualized many worldwide firsts in the country, therefore, Turkey distinguishes as a leader not the follower of global payment world." The country also hosts headquarters of most of GE services such as healthcare, transportation, energy and power. "When Turkey's potential considered particularly in the field of innovation we aim Turkey to be the hub (incubation) center," Canan Ozsoy, chief executive officer of GE's Turkey arm, said.
Giovanni Mastrangelo, The Walt Disney Company's country product manager for Turkey, Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Malta regions, said Turkey was one of the best performing markets among countries in Europe and the middle East, with 50 percent growth in 2015. "We would like to maintain our acceleration and triple our growth in Turkey in the following three years with our integrated and multi-directional notion of work," Mastrangelo said. Other benefits of doing business in Turkey are that the country is just three hours by flight away from several destinations in Europe and the Middle East.
Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of Turkey, flies at almost all destinations in the world. This results in positive effects on demand for the hub by foreign companies in Turkey. The Turkish flag carrier flies to more countries than any other airline, with its 323 aircraft flying to 289 destinations worldwide.