Turkey must project calmer and more stable image to attract investment

This originally appeared on Bosphorus Consulting on 10 February 2014

Turkey Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek spoke on 5 February 2014 about the importance of increasing the level of transparency in the country. Recent developments, the minister noted, are bringing the country’s political stability into question and, as a result, are creating problems for the economy. He went on to state that despite any favorable economic outlook, Turkey still suffers from an image problem.

Echoing Şimşek’s concerns, new British ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore, spoke in his inaugural address on 4 February 2014 about the economic importance of Turkey sending a message of stability and calmness to foreign investors. “Businessmen hate surprises, they like stability,” he told daily Hürriyet, adding that foreign investors “should be reassured by Turkey.” The ambassador spoke of how investors are influenced by how they perceive a country, highlighting again that, in these difficult times, image is key. He would like investors to be reassured that Turkey is committed to “international standards.”

The problem for Turkish businesses is laid out clearly in the low rating that Turkey received in Ernst & Young’s 2013 Attractiveness Survey. The survey cites a lack of transparency as one of the main factors negatively influencing external opinion of the country. It is still usual for Turkey to be lumbered with perceptions of corruption and non-current, non-international business practices. Companies continue to face many challenges trying to convince the outside world of Turkey’s massive potential.

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