Istanbul harbors a great deal of business opportunities in many fields at a wide range from finance to healthcare.
Financial services sector employ more than 83 k people in Istanbul. This workforce is highly educated and loyal, with relatively low turnover due to Istanbul’s quality of life.
A robust, diversified economy and a favorable tax environment make Istanbul’s financial services sector highly competitive. Moreover, activities in banking, insurance, pension funds, international financial transactions and venture capital investment are exceptionally competitive.
Borsa Istanbul, aka Istanbul Stock Exchange, offers the opportunity to invest in various products in an organized, transparent and reliable trading environment to local and international investors with its modern technological capabilities. On all markets of Borsa Istanbul, transactions are conducted electronically, and market information is disseminated on a real-time basis.
NASDAQ and Borsa Istanbul have signed a partnership agreement recently, which aims to expand Borsa Istanbul’s global presence, while substantially strengthening Istanbul’s position as a regional hub for capital markets. Borsa Istanbul will therefore integrate and operate NASDAQ OMX’s suite of world-class market technologies for trading, clearing, market surveillance and risk management, covering all asset classes including energy contracts. Further, the two companies will actively collaborate in the region. This strategic partnership points to a longterm commitment which would benefit member firms and customers of both exchanges.
Progressing towards EU membership, by its regional location, Turkey is also a country of significant economic size for the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa and Eastern Europe. The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s finance arm, now has its largest Office (outside Washington) in Istanbul, from where it manages business with over 50 countries in Eastern and Southern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Istanbul has the potential to become an important center for gathering the financial resources of the region and redirecting them to the above mentioned regions.
About 12 million tourists don’t visit Istanbul solely for the spectacular historical assets and the wonderful sights in the city.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign patients each year are now traveling to receive treatment in private hospitals in Turkish cities, especially in Istanbul thanks to technological advancement and high service quality. From eye surgery to dental treatment, plastic surgery to hair transplant, Istanbul’s medical infrastructure, including 233 hospitals with 32 k bed capacity, offers several advantages to benefit from.
Istanbul’s beauty has made it a magnet for people from all over the World for several decades.
Excluding domestic tourists, approximately 12 million people visit the city each year, particularly from Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Russia. Istanbul’s strongly competitive tourism sector is based on its unique juxtaposition of natural beauty and a diverse, historical, cosmopolitan and exciting city.
Priceless moments in the timeless city Istanbul offers a pristine natural and historic setting, world class dining and nightlife, luxurious accommodations and a variety of one-of-a-kind attractions. The city is also a magnetic location for tourists searching for alternative destinations. The city maintains its dynamism and brightness the whole year through various tourism types. There is always an opportunity to make the best use of time in Istanbul with a combination of alternative activities suh as culture, congress & event, cruise & yacht, health, golf,, sports and many more are ready to get explored in the city. Tourism in Istanbul is a major industry and contributor to the Turkish economy, attracting 11.95 million tourists (Mastercard 2016), which yields the city to become the 8th most popular destination in the world.
Istanbul’s rising ICT sector has become an important source of growth for the local economy, driven by its younger generation rapidly adopting brand new technologies.
The city is attracting an increasing number of ICT companies and is establishing a strong position as a technology hub. The sharp rise of patent applications, 56 universities and 7 technoparks offer a large number of opportunities across a diverse set of industries.
Moreover, Istanbul is attempting to boost its ICT sector by increasing access to broadband infrastructure, as its young population demands more and more online services. Now, international companies are increasingly interested in establishing operations in Istanbul, where a young, educated and skilled population offers several opportunities to develop R&D centers for the region.
The analysis of Ernst & Young states that Turkey’s ICT sector will attract significant investments in the coming years, particularly from angel investors and web-based firms founded by private funds. Turkey’s ICT sector, which is mainly concentrated in Istanbul, was the second busiest after energy in terms of mergers and acquisitions.
As emphasized in 2014-2023 Istanbul Regional Plan, the potential on creative industries should be utilized with the current knowledge, skills and qualifications of the human capital.
The creative industries, which are determined to be fostered in Istanbul, shall be listed as cultural fields, traditional cultural products, performing arts, audio and visual publications, new media, creative services, design, press and publications, and visual arts. The emphasis on creative industries is helping Istanbul to distinguish itself from other global counterparts and compete internationally.
Turkish logistics sector produces US$6.5 billion worth of goods and services, and employs about 400 k workers.
Permanently increasing foreign trade pattern, which is US$193 billion for 2016, is a sign for Istanbul’s competitiveness for logistics. Current airports and seaports are being modernized, where Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is completed and Istanbul New Airport is under construction. Among top 500 global logistics companies, 11 of them operate in Turkey. Additionally 1,630 foreign companies are here with 46 k vehicles. Istanbul has 2 international seaports, one in European side and one in Asian side. According to Containerisation International Magazine, which classifies top 100 container ports globally in 2012, Istanbul is the 4th busiest port in Mediterranean Region. Moreover, Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport are logistically important for cargo planes. On the other hand, railway systems, which come from China and reach all the way to England, help companies transfer their goods smoothly.
Education and training have long been recognized as key drivers of social and economic development. With a population of 14.6 million, Istanbul has more than 3 million students from primary school to universities.
Out of these 3 million students, 777 k study in higher education programs of 56 universities. Turkey has long expressed its determination to harmonize tertiary education in Turkey to EU standards, so adopted a three-cycle degree structure and introduce the common European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. Plus, Turkish universities now participate in the EU’s Erasmus student exchange program; therefore, Istanbul’s 56 universities accept thousands of international students. The portion of private sector participation in education sector is only 4% in Turkey, mostly concentrated in Istanbul. It is now targeted to rise to 25% by 2023, which is an excellent opportunity for international investors. Moreover, current investment incentive system provides great advantages in both lower and higher education.
Turkish universities are now taking steps to raise foreign student numbers. Among many issues attracting the attention of education policy makers in Turkey, one of the most critical is the country’s and Istanbul’s position in the global higher education. The Times Higher Education conducted a study in 2017 that indicates universities international rankings in Emerging Economies. According to the study Istanbul hosts 2 universities in top 20.