Turkish minister invites US businesses to invest in Turkiye’s tech start-ups

Necessary to insist on continuing public, commercial diplomacy to solve global economic problems, Turkish minister says

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

Speaking at Turkiye Investment Conference, organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEIK) Turkiye-US 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 Turkiye 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 Turkiye 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 Turkiye, while others have increased their capacities.

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

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

Recalling that the US was Turkiye’s second largest export market and fourth largest import partner last year, Varank said that the direct investment inflow from the US to Turkiye increased by 45% last year to $14 billion, making the US second largest investor in Turkiye.

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

“We believe that the new US 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.

Turkiye 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.

Turkiye has the potential to be a regional technology hub for US companies, he highlighted.

He said Turkiye’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 4th most invested city after London, Paris, and Berlin and ranked first in Europe in game-related investments.

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


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