Turkey continues to be front and center in the minds of many international investors thanks to the projects that have been realized in recent years and those that are on the agenda. Istanbul’s 3rd Airport and Airport City, which is to be established around it, as well as the Eurasia Tunnel, the Marmaray, and the 3-storey Grand Istanbul Tunnel projects, which connect two continents under the sea, are just some of those projects. At the same time in Turkey, which is passing through a great urban transformation, districts such as Beyoğlu have entered into a great period of investment and gentrification, while many other provinces including Antalya, Balıkesir, Hatay, and Kocaeli, are also benefiting from revitalization. The Turkish Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey Chairman Arda Ermut talked about the active investments that would attract the international investor to Turkey, and disclosed the developments related to the law on provision of citizenship to investors, which was issued recently in Turkey, and how these factors make Turkey one of the most liberal countries in terms of the investment climate.
Participating in MIPIM 2017 with leading projects that introduce a different and strong expansion to the real estate industry, Turkey is determined to make knownto international investors the numerous the investment opportunities the country has to offer. In recent years Turkey has offered opportunities to international investors thanks toa number of ambitious mega projects, and Turkey has also added an opportunity for foreign investors to acquire citizenship if they purchase real estate with a value greater than 1 million US Dollars.
Being the only official organization to promote the investment opportunities offered by Turkey to the global business world and to support every stage of investment they are to make in Turkey, the Turkish Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey will attend MIPIM 2017.Chairman Arda Ermut will hold a series of meetings to explain the investment opportunities of Turkey to international investors and lay the foundation for cooperation.
First of all, having implemented active policies to develop the investment environment over the past decade, Arda Ermut stated that Turkey is certainly a country of opportunities for international investments. He emphasized that having already attracted an average of more than USD 12.5 billion worth of investment annually since 2003, Turkey’s lure will increase further with new and strong projects. Arda Ermut pointed out that the attendance of the Turkish Minister of Environment and Urbanization Mehmet Özhaseki to the fair demonstrated Turkey’s commitment to explain decisively the investment opportunities to international investors during MIPIM 2017. Arda Ermut stated that Turkey would differentiate itself with its leading projects in the real estate field at MIPIM 2017, and another point that Arda Ermut made was the significant increase experienced in the participation of cities in recent years. Arda Ermut noted that along with Istanbul , which has 685-sqm pavilion this year and is located between the pavilions of London and Paris, cities such as Antalya, Balıkesir, Hatay, and Kocaeli, all of which are determined to reach higher ranks in the eyes of global investors, will also be attending MIPIM. Additional Turkish representation at MIPIM will be from municipalities focused on district-wide development, such as the Beyoğlu Investors Group (BIG), and projects such as the IGA Airport that represent the development strength of Turkey.
GRANTING OF CITIZENSHIP TO QUALIFIED INVESTORS IN TURKEY
The Turkish Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey Chairman Arda Ermut also talked about a new practice that paves the way for taking advantage of the investment opportunities in Turkey. Arda Ermut stated that with a new law passed at the beginning of this year, foreign investors who purchase real estate with a value above 1 million US dollars in Turkey will have the right to acquire citizenship, and he underlined that it is anenticing opportunity in terms of benefiting from the investment opportunities in Turkey. Meanwhile, Arda Ermut emphasized that 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 and also shared the following details:
“The Direct Foreign Investments Law, which was accepted in 2003, is 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 corporate tax for all companies from 33 percent to 20 percent. 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. In other words, 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. With the realization of the reforms, the amount of direct foreign investment entering Turkey has reached an annual average of 12.5 billion USD since 2003.
A BRAND-NEW ISTANBUL AND A BRAND-NEW TURKEY THANKS TO INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS AND MEGA PROJECTS
Another important issue Arda Ermut emphasized was the mega engineering projects realized in Turkey in recent years. Ermut noted that Marmaray, with a TL 5.5 billion investment budget, and the USD 1.2 billion Avrasya Tunnel, both of which connect the two continents under the Marmara Sea, have been put into service. On the horizon isanother mega project – the 3-storey Grand Istanbul Tunnel project, which is to connect two continents each other under the Bosphorus Strait. The investment cost of the 3-storey Istanbul Tunnel, which is planned to be completed before 2020, is USD 3.5 billion.
Arda Ermut indicated the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, with an investment budget of USD 6 billion,was as another important project connecting Europe and Asia in which investors from major countries such as Japan, China, and South Korea were involved.Following in the footsteps of this internationally backed mega project,other projects creating new opportunities for international investors are Canal Istanbul and Istanbul’s 3rd Airport as well as Airport City Istanbul,which will be established around the new airport.
According to information obtained from the Ministry of Transportation, the Canal Istanbul project, with an approximate budget of USD 15 billion, will dig a 45-km long canal between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, while new living spaces of 450 million sqm will be created around it. According to the information obtained from IGA authorities regarding the 3rd Airport and the Airport City Istanbul projects, which are to be introduced at MIPIM 2017, after all phases are completed, the airport will become the biggest ‘from scratch’ airport in the world with a capacity of 200 million passengers, and it will become the new meeting point of the business milieu and the social milieu not only from Turkey, but also from other countries. The Airport City Istanbul project will see a community of 10.5 million sqm will rise right next to the new airport.
Arda Ermut explained that the community to be named Airport City Istanbul will be equipped with many modern details, including hotels, offices, shopping centers, fair areas, organization areas, and social living spaces. He 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.”
A LARGE-SCALE TRANSFORMATION AND INVESTMENT ACTIVITY IN 6 POINTS WITH 45 INVESTORS IN BEYOĞLU (PERA), ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS DISTRICTS OF TURKEY
Ermut drew attention to the Beyoğlu 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. Arda Ermut acknowledged the Beyoğlu Investor Group (BIG)for its leading role in the great gentrification project started in Beyoğlu and also the group’s ability to ensure synergy of the investors who give life to the transformation efforts in the district. He pointed out thatthe 45 investors under the umbrella of the BIG have combined their efforts for 6 projects in Beyoğlu, Galataport, Haliçport, Tarlabaşı, Okmeydanı, Piyalepaşa, and Örnektepe. Arda Ermut noted that these 6 projects are very important for creating new areas of attraction and investment opportunities in Beyoğlu in addition to urban renewal. He explained that the investment activities in Turkey are not limited by the borders of Istanbul, drawing attention to the efforts realized in this direction in other cities attending MIPIM.
NEW AREAS WITH HIGH ATTRACTION POWER FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS ARE BEING REALIZED IN ANTALYA
Arda Ermut stated that many cities, including Antalya, Balıkesir, Hatay, and Kocaeli, are attending MIPIM 2017, and emphasized that each city includes many opportunities for international investors with the mega projects they have worked on in recent years. Arda Ermut noted that Antalya, which is known as the capital city of tourism in Turkey, has added the motto Invest Antalya to its previous motto Visit Antalya, and emphasized that there are many projects ready to be undertaken as the city focuses on becoming an attractive destination for international investors. For example, a selection of projects in Antalya with approximate budgets of TL 1 billion eachinclude theBoğaçay Marina project, which will add a 40 km coast line to the city, the Cruise Port project, a Movie Studiomeeting international standards, the Renewal Project of Konyaaltı, one of the most beautiful coasts of the world, and anurban transformation project spread over an area 1,200,000 sqm.Ermut further noted that all questions and concerns of investors will be resolved at a single point with the „one stop shop” model, which will be implemented soon in Antalya.
BALIKESIR IS A NOMINEE TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST ATTRACTIVE CENTERS FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS WITH ITS GLOBAL-SCALE PROJECTS
Ermut pointed out that Balıkesir is an ambitions city not only in Turkey but in the world with the projects on its agenda. One of those projects is a theme park spread over an area of 260,000 sqm. Arda said that the ambition of the city was evident with the establishment of a jury committee that included world-famous architects to decide on the project. He further added that there are many projects with at least as much ambition on the agenda of Balıkesir. Arda Ermut noted that some of the projects to create new attraction centers in the city are Port Gömeç, to be realized in Gömeç with an approximate investment budget of USD 400 million USD, Tuzla Önü to be realized in Tuzla with a budget of USD 150 million, the Cruise port to be constructed in Ayvalık with an investment budget of USD 110 million, and the USD 30 million Beach Landscaping project in Sarımsaklı.
Being one of the most important treasures of Turkey in tourism and attending MIPIM to draw the interest of international investors more, Hatay includes on its agenda several giant projects. These include the Museum Hotel, Archeopark Lift, Urban Transformation, and the Grand Life Center.Arda Ermut then talked about the projects on the agenda of Kocaeli, another city from Turkey attending the fair. Arda Ermut indicated that there are great investment advantages in Kocaeli, which is focal point for transportation and logistics with 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.
ABOUT THE TURKISH PRIME MINISTRY INVESTMENT SUPPORT AND PROMOTION AGENCY OF TURKEY (ISPAT):
It is the only official organization in charge of promoting the investment opportunities offered by Turkey to the global business world andsupporting every stage of investment they are to make in Turkey. Acting by directly reporting to the Prime Minister, ISPAT is authorized to encourage the investments required for the economic development of Turkey. For this purpose, ISPAT supports technology-intensive, high-value added, and employment-creating investments, and follows up and accelerates all investment processes on behalf of the investor.
Acting in many countries all over the world, ISPAT serves investors with its local consultant network based in countries such as USA, Germany, United Arab Emirates, China, France, Spain, Japan, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. ISPAT welcomes investors with a “one stop shop” approach and facilitates the acquisition of the highest level of productivityfrom their investments in Turkey thanks to ISPAT’s wide range of services. The specialized staff of ISPAT serve investors in many languages, including English, German, French, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.
ISPATsees the principle of confidentiality as one of the most important principles in talks with investors, and while being a public institution, it serves investors with the attitude of a private company.
The main service fields of ISPAT cover a wide scope, including consulting, coordination, investment support services, land acquisition support, investment committee visits, project launch services, partner finding support, and after-investment services.
President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT)
President of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)
President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), Arda Ermut started his professional career at the Prime Ministry of Turkey in 2005, working as a Media and Public Relations Consultant at the Prime Ministry office in Istanbul.
He took over the position of Project Director with the establishment of ISPAT in 2007 under the auspices of the Prime Ministry, and progressed through various leadership roles at the Agency. Following his promotion to the position of ‘Chief Project Director’ in 2010, he led teams in charge of the Middle East and Southeast Asia regions.
Prior to his appointment as President, Mr. Ermut held the ‘Senior Advisor to the President’ and ‘Vice President’ titles and was serving as the head of the Public-Private Partnership Department at ISPAT.
By taking the helm at ISPAT, Arda Ermut also assumed the Presidency of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the umbrella organization that covers 170 national and regional investment promotion agencies from 130 countries.
Mr. Ermut is a Board Member of the airline company, SunExpress.
As well as being a Board Member of Vienna Economic Forum, he takes part in Turkish Basketball Federation as a Board Member.
He holds a BA degree in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University.