ISPA, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, joined forces with the cities of Turkey to promote the accessibility of investing in Turkish real estate at this year’s MIPIM, the annual international real estate event held in Cannes, France.
Speaking at the conference seminar ‘Why is Turkey a hot spot for investors?’, Chairman of ISPAT, Arda Ermut, and the Turkish Minister of Environment and urbanization, Mehmet Özhaseki, positioned Turkey as a country of opportunity for the global investor, attracting an average of more than €11.8bn worth of investment annually since 2003.
Arda Ermut commented: “Turkey’s lure will increase further with new and strong projects coming out of the ground across the country. At the same time Turkey is passing through a significant urban transformation. Districts such as Beyoglu have entered into a great period of investment and gentrification, while many other provinces including Antalya, Balikesir, Hatay, and Kocaeli, are also benefiting from revitalization. Representative from all of these regions are attending MIPIM this year to promote investment opportunities in their area.”
Additional Turkish representation at MIPIM is from municipalities focused on district-wide development, such as the Beyoglu Investors Group (BIG), and projects such as the IGA Airport that represent the development strength of Turkey.
Istanbul’s 3rd Airport will be the biggest 'from scratch' airport in the world with a capacity of 200 million passengers, Airport City Istanbul, the 10.5 million m² community that will be developed right next to the new airport, is sited to be the new meeting point for the businesses and residents, not only from Turkey, but also an international audience. The mega project will be equipped with many modern facilities, including hotels, offices, shopping centers, fair areas, organization areas, and social living spaces. Arda Ermut described the ambition of the project by saying: “This city model, developed around one of the most notable airports of the world and with very few similar examples, will be a reference for the airport cities of the future.”
Focusing on the international audience at MIPIM, Mr Ermut said: “There are many opportunities to invest in Turkey, across the regions and across real estate sectors. And the introduction earlier this year for individuals to acquire citizenship when they purchase real estate with a greater value than €0.9m, is an enticing opportunity for investors from across the world to capitalize on Turkish investment opportunities.”
Turkey is determined to make known the numerous investment opportunities the country has to offer and with innovations that have been carried out since 2003, Turkey has become one of the most liberal countries in the world in terms of the investment environment.
The Direct Foreign Investments Law, which was accepted in 2003, was the first of many steps taken towards making Turkey's investment potential more attractive to global investors. This law provides equal treatment assurance to all domestic or foreign investors, and satisfies all expectations of international investors on free transfer of dividends, property acquisition, protection against nationalization, and employment of foreign nationalities.
Furthermore, Turkey has reduced the corporation tax for all companies from 33% to 20%. Major parameters, such as acceptance of international arbitration and harmonizing of laws with EU legislation, have turned Turkey into one of the most liberal countries in the world in terms of both legal framework and the investment environment for foreign investors. As a result of all these efforts, Turkey has demonstrated highly impressive economic performances. The impact of the comprehensive structural reforms realized has reflected on the foreign investments dramatically and the amount of foreign investment entering Turkey has multiplied several times.
Arda Ermut drew attention to the Beyoglu district, which is rightly famous not only in Istanbul but across Turkey, as one of the best examples to describe the transformation movement in Turkey during MIPIM 2017. He acknowledged the Beyoglu Investor Group (BIG) for its leading role in the great gentrification project started in Beyoglu and also the group’s ability to ensure synergy of the investors who give life to the transformation efforts in the district, pointing out that the 45 investors under the umbrella of the BIG have combined their efforts for six projects in Beyoglu, Galataport, Haliçport, Tarlabasi, Okmeydani, Piyalepasa, and Örnektepe: “These six projects are very important for creating new areas of attraction and investment opportunities in Beyoglu in addition to urban renewal. They also show that investment activities in Turkey are not limited by the borders of Istanbul,” he said.
Demonstrating wider opportunities across the country, the presentation pointed to Balikesir - an ambitions city not only in Turkey but in global terms - with projects on the horizon including a 260,000 m² theme park. In Gömeç, Port Gömeç will have an investment budget of €376m; Tuzla Önü, in Tuzla, with invest €141m; the Cruise port to be constructed in Ayvalik has an investment budget of €103m, and the €28m Beach Landscaping project in Sarimsakli are just some of the projects attracting attention across Turkey.
In Hatay several giant projects are on the agenda, including the Museum Hotel, Archeopark Lift, Urban Transformation, and the Grand Life Center. Arda Ermut talked about the projects on the agenda of Kocaeli, another city from Turkey attending the fair, indicating that there are great investment advantages in Kocaeli, which is focal point for transportation and logistics and its key location on the routes to the 3rd Airport, 3rd Bridge, and the Gulf Bridge, all of which are among the most prestigious projects of Turkey.
Foreign investment has enabled a number of significant, mega engineering projects to be realized in recent years: the Marmaray, with a TL 5.5 billion investment budget, and; the €1.1bn Avrasya Tunnel, both of which connect the two continents under the Marmara Sea, have been put into service. On the horizon is another mega project - the 3-storey Grand Istanbul Tunnel project, which is to connect two continents to each other under the Bosphorus Strait. The investment cost of the 3-storey Istanbul Tunnel, which is planned to be completed before 2020, is €3.3bn.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, with an investment budget of €5.7bn was as another important project connecting Europe and Asia in which investors from major countries such as Japan, China, and South Korea were involved.