Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Interesting Meeting

I had mentioned earlier that the Hurriyet columns+ this blog enable me to interact with readers from variety of backgrounds, with different interests. I met on Monday with Global Business, which is preparing the Fortune Turkey report, to appear in the October issue of Fortune. Here is an excerpt from the info. sheet they had emailed me along with their meeting request:
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings that are to be held in Istanbul in October this year will cast a spotlight on Turkey and will showcase its world-famous hospitality. As the city’s municipality prepares to host some 30,000 opinion leaders, there has never been a better moment to draw the attention to the many facets this beautiful country has to offer.

Hence, following two successful reports on Turkey in 2007 and 2008, Global Business is now compiling its 3rd in a series of special sections on Turkey to be published in FORTUNE magazine, the world’s premier business publication. The feature will focus on the most dynamic sectors of the Turkish economy, highlighting the driving forces and key personalities that have kept Turkey aloof of the credit crunch and have pushed its economy ahead of that of its European counterparts.

In light of global economic uncertainty that has left many of the largest economies in despair, Turkey has demonstrated its strength by having remained largely resilient to its negative effects. Naturally, Turkey has not remained immune; however, its unique financial system with a strong capital structure prevented the financial crisis from leaping over into its own system. Now more than ever, business leaders are looking for new investment opportunities and Turkey has a lot to offer.

Aside from its solid banking structure, Turkey’s political framework has also made it one of the most investor friendly nations worldwide. It offers equal treatment for domestic and foreign capital companies and sports a very young, dynamic and highly skilled labour force. Moreover, Turkey has favourable demographics with 65% of the country’s total population of 70 million being under the age of 34. Its sheer market size therefore provides an ideal location not only for production but also as destination for export.

In addition, unlike any other country, it finds itself in a unique geographical position providing a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and the Asian-Pacific. An advantage many investors have already identified, having injected a total of USD 22 billion of foreign direct investment in 2007 alone. Resultantly, Turkey’s economy ranks 6th largest in Europe and reaches for 15th place globally, as the financial crisis shakes the world order.

Global Business works exclusively with Fortune magazine, renowned for its editorial excellence and high profile readership, 70% of which are CEOs and heads of state. Always aiming to reserve the best timing for our country portraits, this report will be published to coincide and distributed with the recently announced 2009 IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting in Istanbul of October this year. Besides the high profile audience of this event, the report will be featured in the EMEA Edition of FORTUNE, reaching an audience of over 550,000 readers in more than 110 countries including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America (including the Caribbean).

We believe that this is the ideal time for Turkey to show its value to the world.
Since the report is an advertising effort paid by TUSIAD, the top brass businessmen's association and the Turkish government, the three guys (actually, two gals and a guy) I met were more interested in the positive aspects of the Turkish economy- which was a good change for me, as I am usually a pessimist worthy of the dismal science.

The conversation also forced me to concentrate on longer-term issues I had not thought about a long time, such as Investment Climate and Higher Education, two issues I had worked on in extensive detail as a think-tank researcher in Ankara before becoming a bank economist.

I think that both Global Business and Tim are doing very interesting work on the Turkish economy. I hope to cover their findings as their work progresses.

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