Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syrians Control 10% of Foreign-Capital Companies in Turkey | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Local and foreign tourists stroll at Taksim square in central Istanbul, Turkey March 22, 2016. Picture taken March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal – RTSBU0B

Ankara-The number of companies established by Syrians in Turkey has seen a remarkable rise, constituting 10 percent of the country’s total number of foreign-capital firms.

According to the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Syrians have started a total of 4,963 companies and exceeded TL 700 million ($260 million) in the total amount of investments made over the past five and a half years.

The number of companies launched by Syrians has reached 1,371 in the first nine months of the year, and the community prefers active centers of industry and trade such as Istanbul, Gaziantep, Mersin, Hatay and Bursa, where there is a huge concentration of Syrians.

TOBB said the investments have particularly focused on construction, real estate, restaurant management, auto service and wholesale and retail sectors.

It also said that asylum-seeking entrepreneurs have established their own businesses by assessing the opportunities related to their own citizens and people living in their current cities as the target market.

The majority of these entrepreneurs will be permanent in Turkey after receiving the residential permit through their companies and will not likely return home after the war is over in Syria.

The Turkish government has recently issued incentives for serious investors to salvage the economy which was hit hard as a result of terrorist attacks, tension in Iraq and Syria and the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July.

The authorities will soon issue a law giving investors the right to acquire the Turkish citizenship.

Between 2011 and 2015, around 7,700 Syrians have received work permits in Turkey.

Although Turkey’s Syrian refugees, whose numbers reach 2.7 million, have a negative impact on housing and employment, they are giving a good incentive to economic growth.