An Insider's Guide to Investment Opportunities in Turkey: Overcoming the Challenges
On a rather cold yet bright January morning, FTI Consulting hosted a breakfast briefing that sought to explore the potential opportunities and pitfalls of investing in Turkey.
Powered by a strong growth story, the Turkish market has attracted both headlines and investor interest. Hosted by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, EMEA Chairman at FTI Consulting, the panel included His Excellency Ünal Çeviköz, Turkish Ambassador to the United Kingdom, David Lubin, Managing Director & Head of Emerging Markets Economics at Citi, and Sinan Ülgen, Founding Partner of Istanbul Economics Consulting.
The sixth biggest economy in Europe has a very dynamic, large and growing domestic market.
Opening the discussion, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown remarked that the Turkish market had seen remarkable growth in the last decade. In recent years the Turkish Government has embarked on a programme of huge infrastructure investment, the improvement of the welfare state and large scale privatisations. This in itself represents a fantastic opportunity for potential investors. However, risks still remain, particularly in relation to the political and social instability of Turkey’s immediate neighbours. Malloch-Brown emphasised that on joining FTI Consulting the necessity to improve the firm’s offering in this key emerging market was a clear strategic goal and had led to the collaboration with Sinan Ülgen’s Istanbul Economics, a key economic consultancy in Turkey.
Ünal Çeviköz, Turkish Ambassador to the UK, recognised that Turkey increasingly attracts UK and international investors. Posing the question Why Turkey?, Çeviköz drew attention to the increasingly friendly and fruitful bilateral relationship between London and Ankara. Appointed as Ambassador following the 2010 UK general election, he suggested the two countries are living through a “golden age” of their relationship. Reminding the audience that 400,000 Turks live in the UK and that two thirds of UK citizens living in Turkey are home owners, he underscored that London is starting to view Turkey, rather than China, as the most promising emerging market – a shift from the BRICS to the BRITs. He noted that the target set by the Prime Ministers of both countries to double bilateral trade by 2015 was well underway. Moreover, Turkey’s commitment to developing a global financial centre in Istanbul means it is looking to London to glean experience and advice. Reinforcing the points made by Malloch-Brown, the Ambassador drew attention to the vast investment opportunities in the energy, health, defence, financial services and construction sectors.