World Bulletin / News Desk
"Most of foreign investors come to Turkey focusing on the country's demography," said Mahmut Unlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of financial services group Unlu & Co.
"Turkey has a population over 80 million, while half of the population is under 30 years of age," he said.
Unlu added that Turkey's improved industrial base, strong banking system and generally better educated population, compared to peers in the region, are major factors foreign investors continue to choose Turkey for investment.
"Strong banking system is always a plus. With reforms since 2001, Turkey strengthened its banking sector, which proved its resilience against global financial crisis," he said.
Unlu is in New York with a group of Turkish businessmen and officials from the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) to explain the investment environment in Turkey to American investors.
"We told American investors the level of Turkish industry has reached and told them about the opportunities it can offer. They asked us about economic performance, other investors' behavior in Turkey and incentives the government can offer," he said.
Unlu emphasized that investment opportunities Turkey can offer are greater, compared to other developing markets. "That is why foreign investment continues to rise in Turkey," he said.
The chairman noted that despite the Fetullah Terror Organization's (FETO) failed coup attempt in July, more than $300 million in foreign investment has since poured into Turkey's stock market.
"Around 50 to 60 percent of total foreign investment coming to Turkey is from Europe, while the U.S. has a 5 to 10 percent share in this. We want American companies to invest more in Turkey," Unlu added.
Ege Yazgan, professor of economics and vice rector at Istanbul Bilgi University, also believes Turkey's demography and population are positive factors for foreign companies wanting to invest.
He also emphasized that Turkey's rising trend in economy, finance and industrialization will benefit American investors in the long run, despite rating downgrades by Moody's and Standard & Poor's that followed the coup attempt.
"We met with officials in Moody's and tried to explain to them how their perception was solely focused on short-term developments, rather than long-term trends," Yazgan said.
He stressed that Turkey aims to become an industrial hub in the region that will benefit foreign investors, and highlighted the country's strong public finances.
"In the case of any negative developments in the economy that would weaken consumption, this can quickly be compensated for by government spending. Turkey has the economic tools to eliminate short-term negative conditions," he said.