Turkish-Arab Economic Forum urges taping investment opportunities
The ninth Turkish-Arab Economic Forum (TAF-2014) concluded at the Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus here on Thursday with a call for promoting economic integration and taping the huge investment opportunities in Turkey.
Panelists in the last day’s discussions agreed that the Turkish market has a lot of promising investment opportunities and is thirsty for financing given the existence of multi-billion mega projects.
The reality of the Turkish investment market is very attractive for financiers from the Arab countries, particularly the Gulf States which enjoy huge cash surplus, they said, expecting a rise in demand for bank loans in Turkey.
In his presentation of the investment opportunities, Vice President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) Ahmet Ihsan Erdem said the population of his country is expected to grow from 76 million at present to 94 million people in 2050.
The ratio of youth in Turkey is the highest compared with the other European countries, he said, noting that there are some 57 million credit card users, 70 million mobile phone users and 33 internet users in the country.
Turkey is the world’s 17th largest auto manufacturer and the eighth steel producer besides the booming tourist market, Erdem added, noting that 36 million tourists visited Turkey last year.
The second panel, themed “Extending Turkish-Arab Partnership to the Caucasus Countries,” was moderated by Walid Abou Zaki, the Executive Director of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group.
Addressing the session, Abdullah Al-Fouzan, chairman of the Investor for Securities, Saudi Arabia, said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has overseas cash reserves amounting to USD 717 billion.
The Kingdom received between 2008 and 2011 up to USD 120 billion of new foreign investments which took the total volume to USD 510 billion, he said.
The number of foreign investors topped 11 million including 159 companies which are listed on the Saudi stock exchange, Al-Fouzan noted, adding that the real estate market is the most promising investment sector in the kingdom.
Among the other speakers at the session were Sudanese State Minister of Finance Magdy Hassan Yassin, Somali State Minister of Finance Abdullahi Mohamed Nor, and Middle East Director of Turkey’s TAV Construction Yusuf Akcayoglu.
The two-day event, organized by the Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group in collaboration with the Turkish Ministry of Finance and the Arab League, brought together ministers of finance and major banks and financiers from both sides.
Source : KUNA Kuwait News agency