Turkish Development Agency Aims to Boost Local & Foreign Investments to Istanbul
The development agency of Turkey’s biggest province aims to boost local and foreign investment to Istanbul, offering both guidance and funds for projects
Foreign investors have recently shown a big interest in mall business in Turkey. The Istanbul Development Agency provides assistance to new entrants to the city.The Istanbul Development Agency, which coordinates economic and social actors for the further development of the province, plans to spend 2.25 million to 4.5 million Turkish Liras yearly to inform and guide local and foreign investors willing to establish businesses in Istanbul through its Investment Support Office, the agency’s Secretary-General Abdülmecit Karataş told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.
“We have supported 45 foreign companies until now,” Karataş said in an interview.
The Investment Support Office, or ISO, acts as a “One Stop Shop” for investors aiming to increase their competitive edge and open their businesses to new markets by investing in Istanbul. It provides orientation for local and foreign investors entering Istanbul markets for the first time. ISO also assists companies with application procedures and documents required within the legislation concerned. “We do not, however, provide any financial assistance for investors,” Karataş said.
There are 81 investment support offices overall Turkey’s 81 provinces, run by the country’s 26 regional development agencies. ISO is currently functioning through coordination of different units of the agency, but will soon become a separate unit with five permanent employees, Karataş said. “Approximately 1 to 2 percent of the agency’s budget is needed to run ISO’s operations,” he said.
Istanbul Development Agency’s budget increased from about 132 million liras in 2010 to about 225 million in 2011. “Surplus from 2010 has also been transferred to the 2011 budget,” Karataş said.
Although the investment support offices are in their initial phases, they have started the ball rolling for many companies, Karataş said. “We try to assist investors up to where our legal limits allow us to.” Although the ISO does not have the ability to issue relevant permits or licenses to businesses, it provides them with all the information on the procedures and documentation necessary for their investment plans.
The agency’s experts also conduct market analyses and research on business opportunities in any sector that investors are interested in. ISO has been transferring detailed sector-specific information to potential investors in Istanbul, including companies based in Italy, Holland, the U.S. and Germany.
“We have recently been assisting a large accessories company that is planning to invest in the luxury segment in Istanbul,” Karataş said, adding that he had to keep the identity of the firm confidential. “We provided market analysis for this company and introduced its representatives with firms already established in Istanbul, which it could potentially cooperate with.”
The office also deals with the promotion of the investment and business climate of Istanbul to national and foreign investors.
Among other activities, the Istanbul Development Agency also provides financial aid for development projects developed by both public and private actors. The budget available for projects has increased from 70 million liras for 2010 to about 100 million liras in 2011.
August 21, 2011
SOURCE: Hürriyet Daily News