Turkey must woo foreign investors

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey is working on ways to keep foreign investment in the country on a lasting basis, including providing finance for infrastructure investments, the head of the Capital Markets Board told Reuters. Turkey’s rapid economic growth slowed last year and it failed to meet its $25 billion foreign direct investment target. It is targeting FDI of around $20 billion this year. «There is very significant potential for foreign investments in Turkey in the long term,» the regulator’s chairman Turan Erol told Reuters on Wednesday. «We are conducting work on keeping foreign capital for the long term. In line with this, we are working on investment partnerships and investment funds,» he said. »Financing will be provided for investments in areas, such as the metro and motorways.» He said infrastructure investments could provide a «shield» for investors at a time when economies are facing slowdowns. The recent turmoil on global markets, which has affected Turkey, did not affect the country’s long-term dynamics, driven by strong growth and a young population, the regulator said. Erol said net outflows of foreign capital from Istanbul’s stock market were «very low» amid the current global market woes, amounting to $128 million on Monday and Tuesday this week. This compared with a foreign portfolio in the Istanbul Stock Exchange of some $60 billion. The foreign share of the free float on the exchange is some 70 percent.