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A Ajansına Türkiye'nin yatırım fırsatları ve ekonomik reformlarını değerlendirdik
18.04.2017 16:58:09
A Ajansına Türkiye'nin yatırım fırsatları ve ekonomik reformlarını değerlendirdik

ANKARA

Turkey's geographical position provides great opportunities to investors standing in the right place at the right time since the country is a gateway to various markets, the head of an Australia-headquartered company said Wednesday.

Mehmet Ali Karamemis, the CEO of Kara Group, told Anadolu Agency that the company has initially invested 50 million Turkish liras (around $14 million) in Turkey to evaluate the country's potential.

"I migrated to Australia with my family in 1987, at the age of 28, while I was a taxi driver in the capital Ankara. In the beginning, I worked at a Ford factory for a while," he told Anadolu Agency.

Karamemis then started his own kitchen materials manufacturing sector business in Victoria, southeastern Australia, in 1991.

"After a while, our business grew into a nationwide brand and we started to export our products to Asia-Pacific countries like Singapore and New Zealand," he said. "Then we also made investments in the construction sector."

Karamemis has received several honors, including a 2005 award to successful businessmen born outside Australia and the Victoria Export Award in 2011, and his Kara Group is among Australia’s top three kitchen brands.

Karamemis said that in 2005 he decided to invest in his birthplace, Turkey, at the invitation of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then the nation’s prime minister.

"Last year we sold our laminate countertops and kitchen materials factory in Melbourne to a U.S. company. After that transaction, we initially invested 50 million liras [$14 million] in Turkey in order to evaluate the potential offered by my home country," he said.

Targeting nearly 200 employees

The Turkish-Australian businessman said he hopes to employ nearly 200 workers in the company's Turkish operations, up from the 60 people already working there.

"The Turkish government's incentive plans have significant advantages. The state says it will cover new employees' insurance payments for the first six months, which means it shoulders a considerable burden until the entrepreneur gets things squared away," he said.

"The government also gives land to companies who want to open manufacturing facilities in particular regions. I believe that it’s time to invest in Turkey to benefit from a wide range of government subsidies."

Stressing that Turkey's geographical position provides great opportunities to investors, Karamemis said: "If you’re doing business right, it’s very easy to reach markets and customers in Turkey and its neighborhood."

"Currently we’re exporting to Australia, Iraq, and Libya. In the coming periods, we’d like to export at least 40 percent of our production to Australia to keep our market share in that country, where the purchasing power of customers is very high," he said.

Stability a plus

Turning to politics, the entrepreneur said political stability should be a priority to attract foreign capital to Turkey by providing predictability.

"In this regard, I think that a possible Yes vote on Turkey's constitutional referendum would be better, because then the country's economy will enter a rapid recovery process," he said. "Nobody wants to have to think about the governance issue anymore."

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to shift the government system to an executive presidency, among other changes.

In advice to young people who want to be successful, Karamemis said: "They need to work very hard and be honest. They have to learn the bureaucratic system of the country where they live or want to start business."


http://aa.com.tr/en/economy/from-turkey-to-australia-a-true-success-story/789456

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