By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
Turkey attracted $10.83 billion in net international direct investment last year, $7.44 billion of which was equity investment inflow, the Economy Ministry announced Friday.
Compared with the previous year, the amount of net foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 18.8 percent, from $13.34 billion in 2016.
In terms of equity investment -- the main component of the overseas direct investment -- direct inflow from the European Union amounted to $4.85 billion, constituting 65.2 percent of the total annual inflow to Turkey.
The direct capital inflow from EU countries rose by nearly 30 percent year-on-year, with the Netherlands ($1.77 billion), Austria ($326 million), and the U.K. ($324 million) as the top three sources of equity investment.
"Last year, $1.45 billion of the total $7.44 billion equity capital entry was in the financial intermediation sector," the ministry said, followed by the transport/communication/storage and manufacturing sectors with $1.35 billion and $1.26 billion inflow, respectively.
According to ministry figures, a total of 5,720 new foreign-backed companies were established in Turkey, including 57 branch offices, while 210 domestic companies benefited from overseas participants last year.
"3,671 of the total newly established companies were of Near and Middle Eastern countries, 897 companies were of EU countries, and 424 were of other Asian countries," the ministry said.
As of December, nearly 59,000 companies with international capital were operating in Turkey, including 38.3 percent linked to EU member states.
Over 22,000 of these companies are operating in the retail and wholesale trade sector. The other major sectors are real estate rental and business activities with 9,583 firms, and manufacturing with 7,014 companies.
Official figures also showed that the Economy Ministry issued 338 incentive certificates in 2017 for investment projects of international investors.
The ministry said the investment value of these certified projects -- within the framework of FDI legislation and the incentives regime -- reached $24.4 billion last year.
"Out of the total 338 investment incentive certificates, 254 were issued for manufacturing, 42 for the services sector, 31 for electricity/gas/water, 6 for agriculture/hunting/forestry, and 5 for mining/quarrying sector," the ministry added.