President of the Presidential Investment Office Daglioglu said, “All technology entrepreneurs who create employment in Turkiye, provide foreign exchange inflows as a result of technology exports to Turkiye, and create value have a high regard and investors follow them with great interest.”
Presidential Investment Office President Burak Daglioglu answered questions at Slush, one of Europe’s most important technology and startup events held in Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
Stating that as the Presidential Investment Office, one of the most important things they focus on while working to increase international direct investments in Turkiye is technology entrepreneurship, Daglioglu said that technology entrepreneurship has now become one of the driving factors of international direct investments in the world.
“We are trying to increase the interest of international investors in this field.”
Daglioglu said, “In this context, we have been trying to increase the interest of international investors in this field by studying technology entrepreneurship since 2015. As part of these activities, we participate in some of our targeted events in the world, events where technology entrepreneurs meet. Slush is one of them. Finland hosts a successful organization in this sense. We were attending here as a Turkish delegation in the past years as well.”
The aim of introducing Turkiye’s entrepreneurship ecosystem to the world
Pointing out that they organized a panel within the scope of the event, Daglioglu pointed out that the co-founders of 4 of the 6 unicorns in Turkiye are women.
Daglioglu emphasized that sustainability is talked about a lot in the world and said:
“Sustainability is not only about the environment and water saving, there is another very important topic here; diversity. Especially here, ensuring equality between men and women and supporting women entrepreneurs emerge as an important topic. In this sense, Turkiye is ahead of many of its rival countries. We wanted to tell this. We thought this was an important topic in an atmosphere where the importance of women entrepreneurs is discussed in the world. Participation was very intense. There were people following on their feet. We are happy to host a successful event.”
Daglioglu emphasized that they aim to introduce Turkiye’s entrepreneurship ecosystem to all investors in the world and noted that they aim to attract the attention of investors and entrepreneurs to Turkiye.
Stating that Turkiye is a country that has become a regional center in many areas in terms of R&D centers and regional management activities, Daglioglu stated that they will continue to work more intensively to strengthen this.
“Turkiye’s goal is to become one of the top 10 economies in the world”
Daglioglu pointed out that Turkiye’s goal is to become one of the top 10 economies in the world and explained that they have developed different strategies and tactics to achieve this.
Presidential Investment Office President Daglioglu continued as follows:
“One of the most important topics is to increase our exports, especially in the field of technology. Otherwise, it is not possible to achieve those big goals only with traditional businesses, because the world is becoming digital. Competition is huge there. By participating in these platforms, we also create a meeting environment directly between companies and their target audiences in order to accelerate our technology exports.”
Stating that the company reaching a billion dollar valuation is a good thing to attract the attention of investors, Daglioglu noted that this is a good indicator to understand the maturity and competence of the ecosystem, but it should not be the only indicator.
Daglioglu said, “Because part of that valuation is also related to market conditions in the world. In the turbulent period we are currently going through globally, the value of these companies may have decreased. This should definitely not lead us to a wrong assessment. When we look at it, we are talking about 6 unicorns in Turkiye. There is now a very strong portfolio for the coming years. Entrepreneurs’ founders are raising tech startup investments, growing, and focusing on creating value.”
“We think we will see such fast-growing companies in the Fintech field as well.”
Stating that he is very hopeful about the coming years and that they will quickly increase the number of unicorns to double digits, Daglioglu emphasized that artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence-supported applications attract attention in particular.
Daglioglu said, “Another area is fintech, financial technologies. Recently, our regulator made legislative arrangements in this field. The legislation on digital banking, payment systems and electric money has been updated again. In this context, we think that we will see such fast-growing companies in the fintech field in the coming years. Unicorn should not be the only indicator. All technology entrepreneurs who grow rapidly here, create employment in Turkiye, provide foreign currency inflow to Turkiye as a result of this technology export, and create value have a special place in our country, and investors are following them with great interest.”
“Turkiye differentiated itself positively at a time when technology investments in the world slowed down.”
Stating that the Digital Transformation Office in Turkiye has a strategy document on artificial intelligence and that they are working together with them, Daglioglu stated that there is an expectation that approximately 5% of Turkiye’s GDP will occur in artificial intelligence and related fields in 2025.
Daglioglu stated that we are going through a period where business models are changing in all sectors in the world and said, “Sustainability is emerging as an important parameter to achieve the goals. Artificial intelligence opens up an important application area for companies to experience and realize this transformation in order to achieve these goals.”
Stating that he recently visited the digital service center of an energy company in Turkiye, Daglioglu stated that it was very proud to see the efficiency increase provided by artificial intelligence and the direct impact of technology on the business model.
Daglioglu stated that there are many initiatives focusing on the field of artificial intelligence among technology entrepreneurs, and that the products that entrepreneurs put forward with artificial intelligence support attract more attention from companies and investors, and that Turkiye is successful in this sense.
Referring to Turkiye’s performance in technology investments, Daglioglu continued his words as follows:
“At a time when technology investments in the world slowed down in 2022, Turkiye actually differentiated positively by showing its performance in the previous year. When we look at the figures for 2023, we see that international direct investments decreased by 30% worldwide in the first half of the year. In Turkiye, this decrease was around 20%. We are separated by a decline that is less than the decline in the world. Geopolitical developments in the world attract attention as a separate topic. Under these conditions, there is not a very positive atmosphere for international direct investments to increase in volume and scale in the coming quarters. Everyone expects central banks to loosen monetary policies in the third, perhaps fourth quarter of 2024. In this atmosphere, we are working with all our strength and energy to win the investment projects in our portfolio, and to quickly implement the projects that we have already won, that is, for which the investment decision has been made, and make them active.”
“Turkiye provides entrepreneurs with ease of access to many geographical regions”
Daglioglu also touched upon the positioning of some companies from those countries in Turkiye after the Ukraine-Russia war and said:
“Especially in the first months, we experienced much more intensity. Both from Russia and Ukraine. International companies’ own operations also shifted to Turkiye. We have seen that companies originating from these two countries established their offices in Turkiye when they asked where they would conduct their activities abroad. At first, they moved offices that they could move very quickly, such as management offices, R&D offices, technology offices, and sales-marketing offices. Afterwards, they started to carry activities such as production activities, which would take time to carry. In this context, Turkiye attracted the attention of investors because it offered a more stable position in that geopolitical equation.”
Giving advice to entrepreneurs, Daglioglu stated that Turkiye offers a very attractive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, and that the country has a very strong industry and a very successful services sector that supports this sector.
Daglioglu emphasized that Turkiye has a domestic market of 86 million people and that entrepreneurs can easily access Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Turkish Republics with its geographical location, and said:
“It is very easy to start an initiative, develop a product, test it and scale it in Turkiye. As the Presidential Investment Office, we help them with access to capital. We have seen that the number of technology startup funds in Turkiye has increased over time, and we work very closely with all of them. We always advise them that if they have an idea, they should try it and fight for it. Access to funding stands out as an important topic here, and we have largely achieved success here in Turkiye. Both international venture capital funds show interest in Turkiye, and we also have venture capital funds established in accordance with the legislation of our own capital markets that collect resources from within Turkiye. Within this entire supportive ecosystem, we always support them in trying if they have an idea.”
“Turkiye is a durable and strong country”
Daglioglu stated that they told investors that Turkiye is a durable and strong country and that it has always emerged from all crises in the world with double-digit growth rates, and emphasized that the country offers a competitive and investor-friendly business environment with the reform policies implemented.
Pointing out that accessing competence and keeping it within the organization has become an issue in the world, Daglioglu said, “Turkiye is a country that offers a very reasonable and optimum solution in this sense.”
Daglioglu also pointed out the importance of the country’s geographical location and noted that Turkiye provides access to global markets as well as the domestic market.
Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz