As we approach the new year, there is a festive mood everywhere. Especially those of you who work closely with the Western world can tell the Christmas holiday is already here. Celebrating holidays is much fun with the family and loved ones in the company of delicious food, good wine and champagne. Residing in Singapore and being surrounded by Western expatriates, I am planning on enjoying this time of the year with some good wine and friends.
Business in Turkey
When we think of a religious holiday Kurban Bayramı or Eid, we think of vacationing in the South of Turkey or cultural sightseeing tours in Çanakkale, Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Mardin and many other destinations. Tourism blossoms with local tourists when the religious holiday is more than 4 days, as more people hit the roads to enjoy relaxing, exploring different places and tasting different food. This holiday has been great especially for hotels in Cappadocia with 100% occupancy. Tourists from big cities like Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir preferred culture tours and seashore destinations. Thanks to the warm weather, many tourists chose Antalya, Marmaris and Çanakkale. Religious and national holidays are great for a quick boost for businesses in tourism; however, long term strategies in the global platform are very important for sustainable growth in the sector.
Turkey is an unsaturated market for non-profit organizations and grassroots activities. Since much development is needed in fighting poverty, empowering women, and preserving the environment, the small number of non-profit organizations is increasing incrementally. One of the international movements on the rise in Turkey is former US Vice President Al Gore's worldwide grassroots movement, The Climate Project (TCP). Mr. Gore founded TCP in order to raise public awareness of the climate change in June 2006. He structured the organization with a limited number of professional staff in Nashville, Tennessee and with thousands of volunteers around the world, who are committed advocates of fighting climate change and establishing a low carbon economy on a global level. Mr. Gore personally trains TCP volunteers with a version of the slide show featured in the Oscar winning movie 'An Inconvenient Truth.'
One of the top locations for international real estate investments, Turkey is referred among global realtors as 'the new Spain'. Just like Spain used to be 5-10 years ago, Turkey offers value property prices with a variety of choices on the Mediterranean coast, rural Anatolia or business districts in the big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya. The increase in the number of tourists visiting Turkey and foreign direct investments flowing in impact positively the quality standards in the real estate sector. The investment question comes down to: Where and what kind of property should one invest in? Villa in the South or flat in Istanbul? Office space or hotel in the business districts?
Although banks and insurance companies have been solid during the financial crisis unlike in Europe and the US, Turkey has been facing major challenges in business: Some businesses filed for bankruptcy, some others laid off employees, some industrial companies ceased production periodically. Both local and foreign businesses have been looking for ways to survive the crisis, mostly through short-term maneuvers. How is Turkey handling the financial crisis in terms of FDI? How attractive is the Turkish market compared to the Western economies?
Retail sector in Turkey is considered to be the most attractive market for foreign investments. Large population over 70 million, increase in purchasing power, changing consumer behavior in favor of Western style goods and trends are the main reasons why a foreign company should invest in the retail market in Turkey. Turkey's youth dominated population attracts foreign retailers to invest in the Turkish retail sector, which is mainly controlled by independent local firms.