Many Chinese businessmen, headed by the billionaire Jack Ma, the founder of the famous Alibaba website, have been traveling to Turkey for several purposes, mainly supporting the Turkish economy, supporting trade between Turkey and China, seeking new investment opportunities and launching joint investment projects between public and private sectors. It is noteworthy that most of these investors range in wealth between 15 billion and 30 billion dollars, where the billionaire Jack Ma has a successful online business group and he is the first Chinese-Asian businessman appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine. He also served as the CEO of the Alibaba Group that he founded, which has the famous AliExpress website.
China’s citizens and business men are among the largest investors outside their country. This is what drives most countries to attract Chinese investors. Turkey is one of these countries, benefiting from the trends of China with its economic plan to link China with Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Makes China ready in the coming years to pump billions of dollars into Turkey.
The Turkish Investment and Investment Promotion Agency announced that the number of Chinese companies operating in Turkey will double by 2021, especially in the fields of infrastructure, energy, technology, investment, chemical industries and of course real estate development. What distinguishes Chinese investments in real estate that they do not prefer to invest in one place but in several places. They usually buy or sell real estate in several states in Turkey. They can buy apartments in Istanbul and on the other hand they buy villas in Trabzon, confirming the importance of their investments in Turkey. Turkish real estate sales are expected to increase this year.
As part of the Global Belt and Road Initiative, China plans to invest billions of dollars in Turkey in the coming years.
China spends more than 20 billion dollars annually, making it the largest investor of foreign properties in the world. Turkey is part of China’s investment future plan.
It is noteworthy that Chinese companies became major investors in Portugal, Australia, Mideast and eastern Europe. China went to Portugal in 2011-2014 to boost the country and they were most attracted by the cheap real estate, and were also attracted by the European Union investment stimulus, but now Chinese companies offer a value of 10.8 billion $ for all power facilities.
Following Portugal’s gold visa program, which allows foreigners to buy property worth 500,000 euros (about 600,000 $) for their residency, many wealthy Chinese have benefited from it and moved to Portugal. Turkey has initiated similar incentives like Citizenship rights guaranteeing foreign investors with Turkish status.
2. Opportunities for Investors
1. Incentives for International Investors: Turkey has been restructuring its economy since 1980 along the lines of a more liberal economic policy. In this context, more emphasis is being placed on private sector especially in productive sectors of economy and the role of State is limited to infrastructure development and the provision of public services.
The economic policy aims to diminish unemployment, to realize technology transfers, to privatize State Economic Enterprises, to overcome the deficit in the balance of payments and especially to increase the integration of the economy with the world economy and to attract more foreign capital to the Country.
Turkey also uses the option of fiscal incentives to channelize domestic and foreign investments for industrial development and rural-urban integration. These incentives or tax expenditures are usually available to investors for the promotion of private investment activities in selected sectors/regions depending on the scale of investment.
2. Investment Incentive Regime: The Turkish Government has been generous in 2016 and introduced two new incentive packages (“centre of attraction” and “super incentives” which provide comprehensive support to the qualified investments.
The “centre of attraction” programme aims to balance the development level within the regions through increase in employment, production and exports whereas “super incentives” aim to meet any critically important current or future requirements of Turkey, develop technological capacity in the fields that technologically Turkey fall behind, reduce dependency on imports/ foreign sources, improve Turkey’s competitive power and support R&D focused investments.