Turkish minister invites US businesses to invest in Türkiye's tech start-ups


Inviting the U.S. business people to invest in Türkiye’s technology start-ups, the Turkish industry and technology minister said, “Türkiye has the potential to be a regional technology center for the U.S. companies.”

Speaking at Türkiye Investment Conference, organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEIK) Türkiye-U.S. Business Council in New York, Mustafa Varank said that the world is in a difficult period due to the pandemic, wars, inflation, energy crises, unstable supply, and value chains.

He added that it is necessary to insist on continuing public and commercial diplomacy to solve the problems of the global economy.

Stressing that Türkiye has proven that it has a resilient, robust, agile, and flexible economy with its performance in the pandemic, Varank noted that, unlike many other manufacturers, Turkish manufacturers have successfully fulfilled their domestic and international commitments during the pandemic.

Emphasizing that many multinational companies prefer Türkiye as a research, design, production, export, and logistics center at the intersection of Europe, Asia and Africa, the minister said, “Some global companies have already moved some of their operations to Türkiye, while others have increased their capacities.

“The number of international companies doing business in Türkiye has reached 76,000, of which 2,000 are from the U.S..”

He said over 500 research and development (R&D) and innovation centers of international investors are located in Türkiye.

Recalling that the U.S. was Türkiye’s second largest export market and fourth largest import partner last year, Varank said that the direct investment inflow from the U.S. to Türkiye increased by 45% last year to $14 billion (TL 257 billion), making the U.S. second largest investor in Türkiye.

He said that the figures increased but far below potential, adding that despite all disagreements, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Joe Biden always express their support for improving the business environment.

“We believe that the new U.S. policy to build resilient supply chains, stimulate American manufacturing and foster broad-based growth can create opportunities for both Turkish and American companies,” he underlined.

Türkiye attracts a large number of investments from global actors with its entrepreneurial business culture, young and tech-savvy population, talented engineers and competitive environment and services, the minister noted.

He said the number of “unicorns” in the country, which was zero in 2019, increased to six currently, two of which were “decacorn.”

The unicorn refers to start-ups whose value exceeded the $1 billion level while it was $10 billion for a decacorn.

Türkiye has the potential to be a regional technology hub for U.S. companies, he highlighted.

He said Türkiye’s start-up ecosystem received a $1.6 billion investment last year and $1.4 billion in the first half of this year.

Varank stated that in the same period, Istanbul was the fourth most invested city after London, Paris, and Berlin and ranked first in Europe in game-related investments.

Calling on the U.S. firms to invest in Turkish technology start-ups directly or through venture capital funds, Varank said, “You should invest in Türkiye and see the benefits of doing business in our region by opening up to the whole world from there.”

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