By Abdulselam Durdak and Ugur Aslanhan
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey's share in global foreign direct investments (FDI) can double in the long term with the help of its geographical location, young population and economic dynamics, the head of Turkey's Investment Office said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Tourism Investments Forum 2020 in Istanbul, Arda Ermut highlighted that the country did not receive a large enough share of global FDI, hovering around 1% over the last 17 years.
"We think this share can easily increase to 1.5% in the short term and to 2% in the long term," Ermut noted.
"If we calculate that FDI in the world stood at an annual $1.5 trillion in the last 15-16 years, Turkey should exceed $22.5-23 billion, and [exceed] $30 billion in the long term," he said.
Ermut underlined that Turkey attracted $217 billion in FDI over the last 17 years, adding that this was a strong expression of global investors' confidence in the Turkish economy.
Recalling that FDI in Turkey showed an annual rise of 13.1% in 2018 while it declined 13% worldwide, Ermut said: "Our country has positively been separated from the negative global course."
He stressed that tourism had ascended to be among priority sectors for investment.
"Having welcomed 39.5 million foreign visitors in 2018, Turkey will see a 15% year-on-year rise in 2019," he said.
According to the latest data, the number of international visitors to Turkey totaled 42.9 million in January-November.
According to Naci Agbal, the head of Turkey's Strategy and Budget Directorate, positive developments in 2020 and later periods will form a major economic framework for investments in the country.
"We are at the beginning of a period when, through strong transformation, economic growth will pick up steam, the inflation rate will fall to single-digit levels and the current account will cease to be a vulnerability in short and medium terms," Agbal stated.
Citing Turkey's 11th Development Plan, Agbal said the country aimed to attract 75 million tourists in 2023, generating $65 billion of tourism income.
"I believe we will exceed those targeted figures," he said.
Agbal said the plan identified "tourism diversification," "extending the tourism season," "improving service quality" and "attracting higher-spending visitors" as the main strategic priorities and objectives of the sector.