Numbers and statistics Arab Investments in Turkey and Key Motivations
A report published by Qatar’s Al Jazeera website sheds light on the volume of Arab investments in Turkey and the reasons driving Arabs to invest in Turkey.
Despite Europe’s dominance over Arab countries in foreign direct investments in Turkey, data from the Turkish government’s investment office shows a significant increase in Arab investments in recent years, according to Numbers and Statistics .
Arabs remain the largest purchasers of Turkish real estate
The Turkish Statistical Institute released monthly housing figures, with Iraq leading in this category, surpassing all other countries. Iraqis bought around 18% of the 143,000 homes sold to foreigners during the period 2015-2019, followed by Iranians and Saudis at 9% each, Russians at 5%, and Kuwaitis, Qataris, and Emiratis at less than 5% each.
The value of these deals amounted to $52 billion during the period from 2003 to 2019, averaging $3 billion annually.
Regarding direct investments and acquisitions of companies, the Central Bank of Turkey estimated the Gulf countries’ share, excluding Bahrain. at about 9% of the total direct investments in Turkey, amounting to $133 billion as of 2018. Data indicates that Arab investment contribution increased from 8% of the total foreign investments in 2016 to 16% by the end of 2018.
Europe led foreign direct investments in Turkey, accounting for nearly 77% of investments. The Netherlands alone held about 25% of total foreign investments valued at $33 billion.
Direct investments from Germany amounted to about 7.5% of the total direct investments, totaling $10 billion for the mentioned period. During the first half of 2019. total Qatari direct investments into Turkey reached $601 million, representing 90% of the total Gulf investments that flowed into the country during the same period.
Data monitored by Anadolu Agency indicates
that Doha plans to launch new investments in Turkey worth $7 billion, focusing on real estate and banking sectors.
Yusuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO of the Qatar Financial Center, stated in December that Qatar had the largest share of foreign investments in Turkey in 2018.
As for the UAE, its direct investment volume increased from five million in the first half of 2018 to 27 million during the same period in 2019. Trade volume between Bahrain and Turkey reached $300 million last year.
Saudi Arabia’s share in the Turkish stock market stood at 2.4%, while the total share of GCC countries in the Turkish stock market was around 7%.
Turkish government forecasts predict trade between Ankara and Arab countries to reach $70 billion this year.
Trade volume increased from $9 billion to $45 billion last year
and is expected to reach $70 billion this year, according to the Turkey-Arab Cooperation Association.
The report from the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (FEMISE), funded by the EU, indicated a 168% increase in the number of companies founded by Syrians in Turkey from 2014 to 2016. At the end of 2017, 4,793 Syrian companies were established in Turkey with a capital of €39.1 million.
The report also forecasted a new growth trend between 2023 and 2028.
Ghazwan Al-Masri, Deputy Chairman of the International Business Forum, stated that the Turkish government supports every Turkish company involved in exports, branding, trade fairs, and other industrial and promotional issues, and Arab companies benefit from this support as they become Turkish entities and receive the same incentives.
Al-Masri, a businessman with Turkish citizenship, stated that most Arab investments focus on real estate, real estate development, finance, banking, textile industry, food, agriculture, animal husbandry, and international trade.
He added that Turkey represents an ideal investment environment for Arabs due to its safety, stability.
proximity to Arab countries, and global markets, making these companies a bridge between Arab countries and international trade.
He emphasized that Istanbul hosts 17,000 Arab companies
while Gaziantep has ten thousand Arab companies, mostly Syrian, and there is a need to increase awareness among these companies, especially regarding the country’s laws, such as tax, industry, investment, and export laws.
Al-Masri stressed the need for a platform where Arab businessmen could gather, such as a business association or any other business organization.
as Turkey has laws that may differ from the countries Arab investors come from.
He said that such gatherings increase investors’ awareness of laws and regulations in Turkey and enable them to demand their rights and submit their proposals to the Turkish government.
At the end of last year, Istanbul hosted the Arab-Turkish Business Summit with the participation of about seven hundred Arab businessmen, in addition to tens of their Turkish counterparts.
representing 150 Arab and Turkish companies.
Preparations are underway for the second conference in March of this year, with a large Arab company attendance expected.
Abdulrahman Kan , President of the Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists Association (MUSIAD), said. “Despite the geographical proximity and strong roots, commercial and economic relations with Arab countries are not at the desired level.”
He added. “We want to transfer Turkey’s expertise to Arab countries and enhance cooperation with them based on mutual economic interests.”
Yasin Aktay, advisor to the ruling Justice and Development Party. said in press statements that Turkey and the Arab world are inseparable, and Arab investors need to directly communicate with their Turkish counterparts to find the best opportunities.
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