Despite these favourable prospects, Turkey is struggling since 2011 to get through a relative slow downn in its FDI attractiveness. According to UNCTAD, Turkey registered nearly €9.7 billion of FDI in 2013 compared with €10.3 billion in 2012, a drop of almost 4.1%. On the other hand, the FDI intentions recorded by the ANIMA-MIPO observatory are falling sharply. These negative forecasts are primarily assigned, internally, to the shortness of the privatisation process and, externally, to the surrounding geopolitical context (Syrian and Iraqi crises and European stagnation).
Indeed, the contraction in European investments observed in 2012 by the ANIMA-MIPO observatory is confirmed in 2013. Although Europe somehow remains the main provider of FDI projects (just over 50% of projects registered by ANIMA-MIPO), investment from emerging and/or Asian countries (Japan, China, Malaysia, Russia) and the Gulf (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) are still significant this year. They represent respectively 28% and 16% of FDI project intentions and more than 50% of the amounts recorded by the ANIMA-MIPO observatory.
The banking and insurance sector has maintained its appeal after the opening of the national banking market in 2012 (arrival of Intesa Sanpaolo and Robobank). The latter should also be reinforced by the adoption in 2013 of a new law favourable to private pension funds. Mega-investments in the field of energy are also continuing, especially in nuclear (put forward by the GDF Suez-Mitsubishi consortium) and thermal power (power plants construction by the Saudi ACWA or the Kuwaiti Aswar). 2013 is however also marked by a strong retraction of investment in the construction and real estate sector, which usually thrives.
The new system of investment incentives, launched in 2012 by the Turkish government, has positively been tested throughout 2013. The latter offers since June 2012 adjusted benefits depending on the region, sector and the amount of investment. A bet that has paid off according to the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), which noted a significant increase (25%) in applications submitted between June 2012 and July 2013, as well as an enhanced attractiveness of the Anatolian region particularly targeted at by the new scheme (776 applications out of 5,567). This increase in applications has resulted, for the first 9 months of 2013, in a 58% growth in terms of amount invested and raise by 37% of job creation estimates.
The establishment of this new offer to investors is also accompanied by an acceleration of the actions carried out to promote Turkey as an international strategic economic hub. ISPAT has been elected to the vice-presidency (2013) and then to the presidency (early 2014) of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) and achieved the relocation of the Association's headquarters from Geneva to Istanbul. The Agency has also multiplied the number of promotional missions carried out abroad (101 visits in 2013 compared with 52 in 2011) and continued its conquest of new markets: a free-trade agreement with the Republic of Korea is effective since May 2013 and a bilateral agreement on investment has been signed with Djibouti in September 2013.