The Turkey (İzmir) investment seminar took place for the 4th time at the UNU HQ building in Tokyo. Approximately 100 participants gathered at the International Conference Hall, listening enthusiastically to the presentations from the representatives of the İzmir Development Agency (İZKA) and the Aegean Free Zone, who were visiting Japan for the occasion.
Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, gave the opening remarks by welcoming the participants. He mentioned Turkey as an attractive business development destination, touching upon the potential the country has with its young population.
Mr. Yuichi Aoki, Senior Adviser, Tokyo Office, Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), emphasized that the investment amount and number of companies investing in Turkey are steadily increasing. There are approximately 220 Japanese companies in Turkey, which could well be increased. “The high growth rate of the country is not to be missed”, said Mr. Aoki.
Mr. Halit Duran, Investment Specialist, Investment Support Office, İzmir Development Agency (İZKA), first introduced İzmir through a short video. İzmir, one of the three largest cities in Turkey has a history of 8500 years. The beautiful city where remains of ancient civilizations are still present, is blessed with mild climate and delicacies. “İzmir is a city with the highest standard of living in Turkey”, Mr. Duran said. The video showed İzmir as a city full of commercial and touristic elements. İzmir is responsible for 10% of commercial production in Turkey. Also the fact that the city also has direct flights from 28 countries or 70 locations, and has a role as a hub of connecting across Europe through Far East Asia was emphasized as one of the advantages of operating business in İzmir. Mr. Duran also introduced many examples of successful Japanese companies already located in İzmir, and mentioned that the potential for investment from Japan is vast.
Mr. Göktürk Altinbaş, Marketing & Leasing Manager, Aegean Free Zone (ESBAŞ), introduced the free zone with an emphasis on the tax incentives. Aegean Free Zone, one of the 18 free zones in Turkey, has been developing since its opening in 1990 and now holds facilities of 176 companies. From Japan, Pigeon has invested and is further developing its production base in the zone. “We would like to host a variety of businesses at the Aegean Free Zone and would especially like to attract businesses that have the production capacity of high value-added products such as high-tech products. We are looking forward to welcoming Japanese companies in this area of business as well.”
During the Q&A session, the “1 to 5” rule (employment of five Turkish employees to one foreign employee) was brought to attention, and it was explained that this rule could be negotiated depending on the role of the foreign employee. Also, there was a mention of the two nations sharing cultural values which act as a good platform for businesses of the two countries. The health care industry was also touched upon, which is also an area that İzmir is promoting actively. The Turkish delegation further shared that there is an increase of contacts with and inquiries by Japanese companies.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Yutaka Inoue, Managing Director, Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME), stressed that for Japan, raising awareness through such seminars and meetings would be a good start for starting the conversation on investment opportunities to Turkey.
Event: Turkey (İzmir) Investment Seminar
Date/Time: Tuesday, 19 June 2018, 13:30–15:15
Venue: 5F, Elizabeth Rose Hall, United Nations University
Organizers: UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East (JCCME)
İzmir Development Agency (İZKA)
Supporters: Turkish Embassy, The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment
Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT), The Japan-Turkey Society,
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
◇Introductory Video of İzmir
◇Introductory Video of the Aegean Free Zone
Contact for Inquiries
UNIDO ITPO Tokyo (PIC: Ms. Maeda)