A "one-stop office" system currently available to foreign investors in Istanbul as a pilot region will be extended nationwide to include domestic investors and other provinces in 2018, according to Turkey's Development Minister.
In an exclusive interview, Lutfi Elvan told Anadolu Agency the system offers investors a single-center solution for authorization, licensing and even employment processes in order to speed up the bureaucratic mechanism.
"Here, we have placed some staff from each ministry," Elvan said. "Therefore, through the 'one-stop offices', they can communicate directly with their headquarters, and all operations can be done promptly."
"Now, a foreign investor coming to the Istanbul Development Agency has the opportunity to deal with all permissions and licensing processes from a single center," he said.
Remanding that Turkey had an extraordinary year in 2016, Elvan said, "On July 15 [last year], we faced a treacherous coup attempt which has had several impacts. In particular, FETO has been conducting an intense campaign against Turkey abroad [since the coup attempt]."
"We also know that some foreign media organizations have worked against us, and Turkey's development and economic growth disturb someone," he said. "The three-quarter foreign investment performance is, nevertheless, not bad at all."
Elvan noted that the country had attracted nearly $8 billion in foreign investment, including equity capital and real estate investments, in the January-September period this year."
- Economic growth
Pointing to expectations of a surprisingly high growth performance in the third quarter of this year, Elvan said "considering the preliminary indicators, we may see a really high growth performance".
"On an annual basis, we also expect growth beyond our targets," he said. "Looking the achievements so far, I think we will have an above 6 percent end-year growth performance in 2017."
Turkey's economy expanded beyond forecasts in the first quarter (5.2 percent) and second quarter (5.1 percent) of this year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The Turkish economy grew 5.2 percent in 2014, 6.1 percent in 2015 and 2.9 percent last year.
As noted in the country's medium-term economic program announced on Sept. 27, the government is targeting growth of 5.5 percent this year as well as through 2020.
Although the country was shocked by the coup attempt, Elvan stressed that over the last year, more than 1.3 million jobs were created.
"With truly rational policies, we will continue to manage the Turkish economy on its solid foundations without compromising fiscal discipline," he said.
Elvan noted that the fundamental approach of the government is to focus on growth and employment.
"The coming periods will be quite better for Turkey. Our citizens shall trust the government and never worry," he added.
According to TurkStat, unemployment in Turkey dropped 0.7 points to 10.6 percent in August compared to the same month in 2016 as the number of employed rose by 1.36 million to 28.82 million over the same period. By Muhammed Ali Gurtas