Turkey is a country that defies easy classification. A famous (and cynical) British diplomat long ago said “Turkey is a country of enormous as yet unfulfilled potential. It always has been. It always will be.” As the country lurches toward authoritarianism this seem depressingly accurate. But while the challenges that underlie these observations call for sober reflection, they are also reminders of the need for BAM and for a clear and credible witness for the Kingdom in this remarkable and complex society.
Turkey is now the world’s 16th or 17th largest economy. It has grown enormously in the last 20 years and its trade with Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East are all significant. Turkey manufactures white goods, automobiles, textiles, glass and F16 engines and fighter jets. Turkish construction companies dominate throughout the Caucuses and Middle East and European trade shows now feature many Turkish brands and joint ventures.
Turks generally view their country as an emerging powerhouse and have designed regulations accordingly. They want foreign investment, but they want it on their terms. The regulations for foreign investment here are designed around multi-million euro investments and intentionally build barriers for small scale foreign companies – see the Invest in Turkey website for the official guide for foreign investors. This is a great challenge for BAM by foreigners. Small scale startups are possible but difficult. Unfortunately, the current political and economic climate also makes large scale investments much more risky than they were just two years ago. So proceed with caution. Read more