Turkey stands in the enviable position as the bridge between the Gulf States and the West, something that the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was quick to understand. As a critical member of NATO, it is the only majority Islamic nation that is part of the alliance. Historically, it was the final terminus of the Orient Express, a train that completed its final trek only a few years ago. When it comes to GDP, Turkey remains larger than Saudi Arabia and has made great strides when it comes to improving the lives of their citizenry.

Turkey remains a compelling arena for foreign direct investment and it has tripled its GDP between 2002 and 2015. With a highly educated population of nearly 80 million– with half under the age of 31–the new vibrancy of Turkish entrepreneurialism shows up in the hearts and minds of its diverse workforce. No country is better positioned to serve as a cultural, political and economic bridge between the Gulf States and The West. However, Turkey is more than a locale where foreign goods are made only to be exported to the West. Over the past decade, Turkey has demonstrated
that it also has a very strong domestic economy, not just within the brick and mortar space but within ecommerce as well. Turkey has a strong online footprint with over 50 million broadband
subscribers as well as 76 million mobile phone users. Credit card issuance has nearly tripled in the past decade as more and more Turkish professionals spend within the global economy. This is a
country prepared to invest domestically and build their economy in a stable and strong fashion. The government rolled out its “Turkish Exports Strategy for 2023” as a way to showcase its success for its 100th anniversary. Just as Japan came of age during the 1960’s and South Korea showed the world that it was more than a series of MASH reruns, Turkey is well positioned take its place among the world’s top 10 economies. Turkey wants to reach $500 Billion in annual exports and all of the indications show that this will be a successful effort.

To make this happen, Turkey has launched an ambitious and far reaching improvements within its national infrastructure. They include a series of new power and green energy complexes designed to minimize their carbon footprint. It also includes new proposed high-speed rail and a network of divided highways, not unlike what is found within the United States Interstate
Highway program. On a personal level, it also means more doctors, lawyers, MBA candidates, and academicians.

Turkish Exports Strategy for 2023 is also designated to showcase Istanbul as a major cosmopolitan center, on par with the major European capitals when it comes to fashion and other consumer goods. Turkish brands will begin to move from a position of regional dominance to the forefront of international respect. However, the most important thrust will be the growth of a high-tech economy that will draw from the country’s highly educated workforce. As these economic clusters become more prominent in the national economy, the label of “Made in Turkey” will resonate with the respect that is worthy of a highly education country.

Turkish business leaders know that healthy workforce is a vibrant and consistent workforce. The current national health initiative will attempt drive 100% participation to ensure that the average Turkish citizen has options not unlike what is found in either Berlin or Paris. As Turkey plays an important role against ISIS as a NATO member, it also wants to expand its integration into the global economy. Turkey began its negotiation for full EU membership in 2005. While this is a long and often difficult process for most member countries, Turkey is eager to demonstrate that
it will add value as a regional leader; after all, it would be the only potential full EU member with a majority Muslim population. All this together makes Turkey an enviable place for direct foreign investment. When one looks beyond the ebb and flow of annual cyclical fluctuations found within FDI, the value points listed above makes Turkey a far better place to invest than many of the oil
rich Gulf States. Direct capital infusion within Turkey rose to its highest levels at the end of 2016 after a decline in the first part of the year. The ability to create a strong rebound only helps to show how resilient and attractive the Turkish economy is today and how important it will be as it reaches its 100th anniversary in 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.