Business in Turkey

ERAI Turkey is here to help you on your journey of doing business in Turkey! If you would like to be guided during your first steps in the Turkish business arena then you are in the correct place. You can read our articles about business in Turkey in order to have a better idea and understand what to expect when you come here. We will always be here for you to set-up and improve your business. You will be busy only with your work while our experienced team is dealing with all the details and bureaucratic issues on your behalf. Our main target is to help you to reach your target and have a successful business in the Turkish market. Working in Turkey is a piece of cake if you are with ERAI Turkey!

How can Coronavirus Spread Impact Global Business?

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Coronavirus spread is not only threatening people’s health, but it has also become a risk for world economies. Due to the virus, China’s Asian neighbors and commodity exporters will also face difficulties, according to economists.

What is Coronavirus, and what is the situation now?

“Coronavirus is a virus that causes diseases in birds and mammals. It causes respiratory tract infections, which are generally not serious but have a risk of death, diarrhea in cows and pigs, and upper respiratory tract diseases in chickens.” as it is defined on Wikipedia. However, the current Corona Virus outbreak is more than this, according to scientists, and has enormous effects on human life and business life around the world but mostly on China at the moment.

The Chinese scientists are currently working on developing the vaccine to this virus, which is spreading inevitably fast. Together with government scientists in China, the United States and Australia, as well as those working at Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, are all engaged. As of 30.01.2020, 170 Chinese citizens lost their lives due to the “new coronavirus,” and around 7.711 people are confirmed to have the infection.

All the countries around the world are on alert and warned by the World Health Organization to take action against the SARS-like virus, and it has been confirmed to be detected in almost 20 countries at the moment, and the WHO declared a global health emergency.

coronavirus spread

coronavirus spread

The economic impact of coronavirus spread

Asian stocks and currencies fell on January 30 as the number of people who died rose, and more cases were reported worldwide. The effects of the virus are already severely impacting China’s economy, the second-largest in the world, as companies cut back on business travel and tourists cancel trips during the traditional Lunar New Year holiday period.

A government economist said the crisis could reduce China’s first-quarter growth by 1.5-2% or less as the crisis affects sectors ranging from mining to luxury goods.

Also, it is stated that the outbreak will create a drop in Chinese tourism revenues in other parts of Asia, especially in Hong Kong and Thailand.

Turkey is among the major trading partners of China. In 2019, Turkey 19.1 billion dollars while imports with China, exports were $ 2.6 billion. Since 2002, the amount of foreign direct investment from China to Turkey reached $ 1 billion 38 million. The number of Chinese tourists came to Turkey last year to 450 thousand. Tourism is expected to be negatively affected at the first stage due to coronavirus.

As a result, tourism all over the world, including Turkey, will have a great loss since the Chinese government banned package tours outside China for a month, which can be extended later.

As economist Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China unit stated, “A broader spread of this disease has the potential to disrupt travel, trade and supply chains throughout Asia, with knock-on effects on the world economy, since Asia is now a key driver of global growth.”

On the other hand, a weakening of the Chinese economy would affect oil demand as the country is the world’s largest importer of crude oil – importing a record 10.12 million barrels per day in 2019 – and the world’s second-largest oil consumer, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

Important events canceled due to the coronavirus spread

Xiamen Natural Stone and Technologies Fair, one of the world’s largest natural stone fairs planned to be held in China on 16-19 March, and the World Indoor Athletics Championship, which is planned to be held in Nanjing, China on 13-15 March, were delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

What are the reactions of important brands?


Honda Motor stopped production until February 9 to support efforts to prevent a coronavirus outbreak at two motorcycle factories in China. No explanation was made as to when production will resume at Honda Motor’s 3 automobile plants in Wuhan. The facilities were planned to be operational again on February 3 after the Chinese New Year holiday.


The Japanese automotive giant announced that it had stopped its production in Tianjin and Guangdong in China until February 9. In addition to Honda and Toyota, PSA Group, owner of General Motors, Nissan, Renault, and Peugeot, also stopped production in China due to coronavirus.


The company authorities have stated that they are following the situation in China very closely. They have reduced the number of working hours of their employees in Apple stores in China and limited their travels. The factories which are producing for Apple have stayed closed for more than it is expected, and the mass production, which is planned to start in the third week of February, may be delayed due to the coronavirus.


Google is shutting down all its offices in China temporarily, which are located in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, according to the technology website, The Verge.


Together with other U.S. companies, Facebook has also restricted travel to China to keep its employees safe. As Business Insider stated, the company stated that they would not allow the staff to go to China unless it is necessary, they would have a special permit requirement for the staff who had to go to China and would be very sensitive to the issue.


Ikea announced that they have temporarily closed all its stores in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. They have 30 stores around China, and half of them closed while the rest shortened their opening hours.


Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks, told CNBC that they have closed more than half of its stores in China and wouldn’t hesitate to close more if necessary. The remaining Starbucks shops required people to have their temperatures taken and to wear masks.

International Flights and Transport Links

Turkish Airlines, British Airways, American Airlines, Air Canada, Iberia, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Seoul Air of South Korea and Lion Air Group of Indonesia have canceled, suspended or reduced their flights to and from China because of coronavirus. Other airlines have also started to cancel or suspend their flights to and China since the death toll and number of infected cases increase.

Kazakhstan government declared that it had stopped issuing visas to Chinese citizens and will cut all primary transport links with China. Passenger train services, cross-border bus journeys are suspended as well as regular flights between the two countries.

The government of Russia has also announced that they will limit the number of passenger trains starting from 31.01.2020 and will be active between Moscow and Pekin only.


Within the light of all this information, the coronavirus spread may have inevitable consequences on the world’s economy, and these consequences may be negative or positive for some countries, depending on their situation. Depending on the progress of the spread of the coronavirus, the world’s economy may experience great changes.

Although the negative effects have been stated in this article, it should be noted that for some countries which are competitors with China in terms of production facilities such as Asian countries, Middle East countries and Turkey, etc., this outbreak may have a positive effect. In the case of a nationwide quarantine in China, all the production facilities and factories would be shut down, and manufacturing would stop. At that point, international brands would look for other alternatives to continue their production. Obviously, among all the other countries, Turkey has an outstanding advantage of its location.

Not only Turkey’s geopolitical position puts the country one step forward, but also production facilities of high quality and high capacity, cultural similarities between European countries are all its advantages compared to Asian and Middle Eastern countries. As a result, Turkey may be the new production hub for important international brands who would like to benefit from the ease of transport, accessibility of the manufacturers, cheap workforce, and customs union with the European countries.

Over 84,000 New Companies Founded in Turkey in 2019

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In 2019, 84.102 new companies founded in Turkey. More than 86% of the newly established enterprises were joint-stock companies, while 13.6% were joint-stock companies.

The three main areas of activity of the new enterprises were wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and construction.

In 2019, 12,634 new companies with foreign partners were established. Most of them, approximately 35,794, opened in Istanbul, followed by the capital Ankara with 8,673 and the Mediterranean city Antalya with 3,778.

Also, during the year, 1,161 new cooperatives were established.

At the same time, the number of newly created enterprises rose by 23.49% year-on-year in December to reach 7,849 enterprises on a yearly basis.

Within the framework of Turkey’s new strategy, it will provide various incentives and support to the business community and professional managers to support new technology companies. Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank announced Turkey’s Industry and Technology Strategy previously for 2023, a roadmap that will help the country become competitive in critical technologies and a significant player in the global league.

The strategy outlines the steps that will increase Turkey’s competitiveness, strengthen its economic and technological independence, and improve value-added production in the industry. It also covers policies to encourage and support the development of the high-tech entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Through the encouragement of business people and professional executives to support new technology companies, the number of angel investors will be more, and the utilization of mass financing will be increased.

Provisions will be established to ensure that angel investors do not limit themselves to financing, and they will also transfer experience and provide actionable advice to entrepreneurs. Thanks to their support and experience, the number of new companies founded in Turkey will increase in 2020.

If you would like to find out how to set up a business in Turkey in 8 steps you can check this article.


KOSGEB Supports Turkish Women Entrepreneurs

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The Administration for the Development and Support of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (KOSGEB) provided a total of 1 billion 5 million 363 thousand 551 TL between the years 2015-2019 to 55.046 enterprises owned by Turkish women entrepreneurs.

According to the information collected from the KOSGEB data for the year 2020, the institution has intensified its efforts to increase women’s participation in the workforce. There has been a significant increase in the support provided in the entrepreneurship of women.

The President of the KOSGEB, Professor Uzkurt, said that by 2018, they had provided almost 220 million Turkish liras of entrepreneurship support to 11,000 women entrepreneurs. Thus those 11,000 women started their businesses.

He said that many women entrepreneurs developed their businesses in a short time with the support of KOSGEB, and some of them even started importing abroad. At this point, the President of KOSGEB stressed the importance of their support to women entrepreneurs as women entrepreneurs have countless success stories in their support.

The total amount of support for women entrepreneurs, reached to 57.933.100 TL in 2015, increased five times in 5 years and reached 298.285.791 TL by the end of 2019.

The number of businesses owned by women entrepreneurs receiving support has also increased three times in 5 years. While this number was 5.681 in 2015, it rose to 14.978 in 2019.

Within the framework of the KOSGEB support programs, a total of 1.363,000,551 TL was granted to 55.046 enterprises owned by women entrepreneurs in the period 2015-2019, which will be more in 2020.


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Turkey is Still a Secure Hub for Investors

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The Regional Director of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group in Turkey, Salah Jelassi, commented on the IDB’s new strategies and Turkey’s current position. “In a climate where investment opportunities are limited worldwide, Turkey continues to be a secure hub for investors,” said Sallah Jelassi, Regional Director of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group in Turkey.

Jelassi gave an interview to the Anadolu agency, where he commented on global economic issues, the IDB’s new strategies, and Turkey’s current position and future expectations.

“It is difficult to find a country with a strategic position like Turkey’s,” he said, adding that Turkey carries a very high potential to achieve its growth and development objectives.

He went on to discuss global economic problems and stressed that “political issues have created a global crisis. Jelassi said that it is mainly developing countries that are affected by it.

He said that Turkey, compared to other developing economies, has more significant potential.

“We ended 2019 with good news, and I hope this positive trend will continue in 2020 and beyond. In a climate where investment opportunities are limited worldwide, Turkey continues to be a safe port for investors,” he added.

Jelassi went on to discuss Turkey’s activities on the African continent.

“Turkey, which has developed an action plan for Africa, is on the right track. Many member countries of the IDB Group are grateful to Turkey. We believe that the experience of Turkish businessmen will help to realize the potentials of these countries,” he concluded.

As Jelassi stated Turkey continues to be a secure hub for investors in 2020 as well.


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EBRD plans to increase investment in Turkey in 2020

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investment in TurkeyAfter achieving high investment volumes in challenging market conditions last year, the EBRD plans to increase its investment in Turkey in 2020 as the economy prepares to recover.

2019 has been a difficult and challenging year for the Turkish economy. It experienced a weakening of overall asset quality in the banking sector and a reduction in debt levels among creditors. The risk of sanctions and market instability undermined investor confidence, leading to unsatisfactory levels of public and private investment.

Within this context, the EBRD successfully provided € 1 billion of debt and equity financing for 35 projects in Turkey.

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, said: “In a challenging business environment, our business volume in Turkey in 2019 remained unchanged from the previous year. Last year we provided EUR 1 billion of financing in various sectors and were able to support our clients to ensure business continuity and growth opportunities. The vast majority of our investments were made in the private sector, and half of these investments were dedicated to Turkey’s sustainable development program, the country’s blueprint for implementing global development goals.

Mr. Tuerkner noted that the EBRD anticipates the Turkish economy to recover in 2020: “As investors seek financing, we will aim to support even more investment projects that stimulate the economy, create jobs and improve people’s lives.

In 2020, the Bank will also aim to enlarge its Women in Business program and focus on attracting new investors under this initiative. It will maintain its involvement with the Turkish government to deploy energy efficiency technologies in schools and the liberalization of the railway sector. The EBRD will keep its focus on renewable energy projects and make an investment in Turkey in this field as well.

The Bank will also investigate opportunities for Islamic financial products and expects an increase in issues from Turkish companies. Its involvement will be in line with the Bank’s recently approved country strategy, which focuses on building economic sustainability, encouraging a knowledge-based economy, enhancing inclusiveness, and promoting the shift to a green economy.

A large part of this financing is expected to be in Turkish liras, as in 2019. About one-third of the Bank’s financing in 2019 was tied to the local currency and the development of local capital markets to support businesses in reducing foreign exchange risks.

One such loan in Turkish Lira, equivalent to US$100 million, to energy group Enerjisa Enerji, significantly contributed to the improvement of the capital market in Turkey through its link to TLREF, a new overnight risk-free benchmark rate that the EBRD had helped develop.

The EBRD celebrated its 10th year of operation in Turkey in 2019. Twelve billion has been invested in various sectors of the Turkish economy since 2009, with almost all of it in the private sector. The EBRD’s €6.7 billion portfolio in Turkey is the largest of the 38 countries in which the Bank invests. The EBRD is a major investor in Turkey.

In the energy sector, the Bank also supported the expansion of a geothermal power plant and invested in a stake in Ictas Holding’s renewable energy activities in 2019.

The EBRD’s equity-related transactions in Turkey focused on the technology sector, with investments in Modanisa, the online shop for Muslim women’s clothing, and the Obilet bus ticketing application, as well as others.

The Bank also provided incentives to Turkish exporters such as white goods manufacturer Arcelik and dried fruit and nut producer Isik Organic and May Seed, exporting sunflower seeds, maize, cotton, and beans.

In response to the request to support the improvement of port facilities, the Bank has financed four Turkish ports: an innovative logistics center to be developed by Arkas Holding in Kocaeli, Asyaport and the port of Tekirdag through loans – all three in the Marmara region – and the international port of Mersin in the south of the country by taking part in a Eurobond issue.

While bank loans continued to be tight, the EBRD also investigated new ways to increase financing for Turkish companies and supported the leasing company QNB Finansleasing and the factoring company TAM Factoring, as well as the extension of a risk-sharing agreement with Turkiye Sinai Kalkinma Bankasi (the Industrial Development Bank). Turkey or TSKB).

Besides, the Bank’s small business team launched 113 local and nine international consultancy projects with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 20 provinces, helping them to improve their performance and growth.

The EBRD achieved a record level of investment impact in all its regions in 2019, honoring its promise to enhance both the quality and quantity of its investments in 38 economies on three continents.

The Bank funded an unprecedented 452 individual projects, up from 395 a year earlier. Funding reached more than EUR 10 billion for the first time in the Bank’s history, rising from EUR 9.5 billion to EUR 10.1 billion.

EBRD funding for the green economy reached a record €4.6 billion or 46% of total business volume in 2019, underlining the EBRD’s strong support for the global climate agenda. They aim to continue their investment in Turkey in the future as well.


Export Grows with Chemical Industry in Turkey

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The chemical industry in Turkey, which set a record in 2019 with the export of 20.6 billion dollars, became the second most exported sector in the past year. The chemical industry has drawn attention to the increased export performance, exporting more than 3 billion dollars in 2019, among the industries increasingly growing 18.54 percent of exports to Turkey and could be a growing industry.

The chemical sector, which stands out as the locomotive sector that exports to most countries among all industries, became the leader in this field with its exports to 208 countries and regions in November. The sector’s exports in terms of quantity in 2019 amounted to 26 million 539 thousand tons, with an increase of 35.83%. Spain, which is one of the countries with the highest export volume in the chemical industry, ranked first with exports of 1 billion 62 million dollars while the Netherlands ranked second with exports of 1 billion 32 million dollars, and Iraq ranked third with exports of 1 billion 12 million dollars.

Assessing the year-end exports of the chemical industry, the President of İKMİB, Adil Pelister, said: “Our chemical industry exports broke an all-time record in 2019. We have been very successful in exceeding our $20 billion targets with exports of $20.6 billion. Also, among the sector’s exports of more than 3 billion dollars in 2019, we were the fastest-growing sector of Turkey, with export growth of 18.54 percent. Our sector’s export in terms of quantity in 2019 was 26 million 539 thousand tons, with an increase of 35.83%. We beat our monthly export record with 1.94 billion dollars of exports in October 2019. During 2019, every month in a row as Turkey’s second-largest export sector, we have been leading our second permanent goal. In the chemical industry in Turkey, by taking a share of 11.44 percent of Turkey’s total exports, we have brought significant added value to our country. In 2020, the first sector, while maintaining our position as the second most exported sector of Turkey, Turkey’s exports, and we aim to increase our contribution to growth. Besides, we plan to conduct our activities more broadly following the roadmaps we will create for our sub-sectors. »

“Chemicals is a strategic industry with high growth potential.”

Stressing that the chemical industry is growing every year and that its growth potential is high, this is a strategic sector. As İKMİB, we successfully represent the Turkish chemical industry worldwide, with 16 subsectors of plastics, paint, cosmetics, medicine, rubber, organic, and inorganic chemicals. In this context, during 2019, with around 500 exporter companies, we participated in 14 national trade fairs and 11 international trade fairs. We visited 4 organization information stands, conducted five sector trade missions, 12 recruitment committees, 4 TTG (Turkey Promotion Group), three seminars, and continue in the framework of 7 international competitiveness development projects (URGE). We organized 3 URGE delegations and 3 URGE training and six workshops related to different sectors. In addition, we held our 8th event on the R&D projects market, the fourth of our IKMIB Export Stars award ceremony, and the Industrial Design Competition. »

The 2023 chemical export target is $30 billion.

Noting that they aim to export more than $22 billion in the chemical industry by 2020, Pelister said: “As part of our country’s 2023 targets, we aim to increase our sector’s exports to $30 billion and achieve a 13 percent share in the $226.6 billion export target. To achieve this export target, our Ministry of Commerce is forwarding our requests to the relevant ministries. This includes: facilitating our exporters’ access to financing, ensuring the digital transformation of the chemical industry, energy costs, and TCS, creating container lines, increasing fair participation rates, and investing in petrochemical plants.

The Star Refinery facility, opened in 2018 and operating in the petrochemical sector, has made a significant contribution to our industry in terms of chemical exports. Our chemical exports are also positively affected by the investments made in our industry. We need six new petrochemical plants. We expect investments in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to begin. However, it is essential for our exporters that efforts to update the customs union agreement with the European Union are completed as soon as possible. As exporters of chemicals, we will continue to contribute to the development and growth of our country. »

Spain was the most exported country in 2019

In analyzing the distribution of chemicals and chemical products exports by country in 2019, Spain ranks first with exports of $1.62 billion, while the Netherlands is second with exports of $1.32 billion and third Iraq with exports of $1.12 billion. Italy, Egypt, Germany, the United States, Greece, England, and Malta are in the top ten.

EU countries ranked first in chemical industry exports in 2019

In 2019, the European Union ranked first among the countries in which the chemical industry exports were made, with an exportation of 8.51 billion dollars and an increase of 27.24%, while the countries of Asia and the Near and Middle East were second with a rise of 3.9 billion dollars and an increase of 24.56%. Other European countries were third with exports of 2.66 billion dollars, and a rise of 17.16%, North African countries were fourth with exports of 1.85 billion dollars and an increase of 7.78% and other Asian countries with exports of 1.36 billion dollars and 1%, It ranked fifth with 12 decreases.

Most of the “plastics and products” were exported

The “plastics and products” product group ranked first in the chemicals and chemical sector’s exports in 2019, with an increase of 4.12% and exports of $6.12 billion and had a 29.67% share of the industry’s total exports. The group of “mineral fuels, oils, and mineral products” with an increase of 85.78%, exports of 6.08 billion dollars and a share of 29.46% and an increase of 0.91%, exports of 1.82 billion and 8%, The group of “inorganic chemicals” followed with 82 actions. The other most exported product groups in the chemical industry in Turkey were respectively “rubber, rubber products,” “essential oils, cosmetics and soap,” and “pharmaceuticals.”


Turkey’s CB Cuts Interest Rate More Than Expected

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The Central Bank of Turkey cut its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points, beating most economists’ forecasts and risking a possible liquidation of the pound.

The Bank of Ankara cut its one-week lending rate to 11.25% from 12%, according to a decision taken on 15th January. Turkey’s primary interest rate, minus inflation of 11.8%, is now negative, making assets denominated in lira less attractive.

In its reasoning, the central bank cited improved inflation prospects, weak investment, and weak global economic activity.

As the President Erdoğan said earlier Thursday that the central bank had another opportunity to cut rates at today’s meeting.

Economists were almost evenly divided on whether the central bank would cut rates, according to polls conducted by Reuters and the state-run Anadolu news agency. Those expecting a cut more commonly predict a 50-basis point cut.

President Erdoğan claims that higher interest rates are inflationary, an opinion that is in contradiction with conventional economic theory. Consumer price inflation in Turkey accelerated from 8.6% in October but is less than half the levels reached in the aftermath of the currency crisis.

Economists predict that inflation could slow to around 9.5% in 12 months, according to a central bank survey released earlier in January 2020.

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Chinese Realme is Entering the Technology Markets in Turkey

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Following Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei, one more Chinese smartphone producer is preparing to offer its products to Turkish consumers in January 2020 in the technology markets in Turkey.

Realme will initially launch three new models on the Turkish market and will also offer accessories and other phone models in the coming period, according to the news.

Founded in May 2018 and targeting young consumers, Realme comes seventh in the global smartphone market. The company is headed by Li Bingzhong, the former vice president of another Chinese smartphone brand, Oppo. Realme operates in more than 18 countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. It has been present in Europe in the UK, Spain, France, and Italy since May 2019.

The company also launched a Turkish website and introduced phone models. According to the company, three smartphone models identified as Realme C2, Realme 5 Pro, and Realme XT will be on the market in January.

Realme C2 – which has a range of features, including a 4000 mAh battery, 16GB of internal storage, fast charging, a display fingerprint sensor, and a 2 GHz Cortex A53 processor – will be priced at 502-670 TL on the Turkish market.

The Realme 5 smartphone works on the Android v9.0 (Pie) operating system. The phone is powered by Octa-core. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The display has a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels and a pixel density of 270 PPI. A 5000 mAh battery supports the device. It will have a price of about 1,120-1,360 TL on the Turkish market.

The Realme XT 128GB smartphone runs on the Android v9.0 (Pie) system. The phone is powered by an Octa-core processor (2.3 GHz, dual-core) and has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 chipset. It has 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It is supported by a 4000 mAh battery. It will be sold for 1,899 TL in Turkey.

The Chinese company Oppo, the world’s fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer, entered the technology markets in Turkey in 2018, opening its Turkish office in Istanbul. Xiaomi, Oppo’s closest rival in China and on the world market, also launched its operations in the country in 2018.

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Novo Nordisk Makes Istanbul The Management Hub

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Danish drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which is best known for its leadership in diabetes care, will run operations in 73 countries with a population of about 1.6 billion people from its headquarters in Istanbul by making it the management hub of the company.

The world’s leading manufacturer of medicines for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, hemophilia and growth disorders has increased the number of countries it manages from Istanbul to 73, up from 22 in the last months of 2019, said the company’s Vice President, Emil Kongshøj Larsen in a recent interview.

From its headquarters in Istanbul, Novo Nordisk will now be managing the Middle East, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Africa (BANECA) business area with a combined population of approximately 1.6 billion people.

Its previous operations included a region of 22 countries, including Turkey, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Ukraine, and Jordan, with a combined population of approximately 680 million people.

Nearly 5 million patients in the Middle East, CIS, and African countries are currently expected to be treated with Novo Nordisk medicines, a number that is expected to increase steadily in the coming period due to rising rates of diabetes and obesity.

“In recent years, Turkey has become an excellent and increasingly critical base for Novo Nordisk because of its geographical location and strong logistics infrastructure,” said Larsen.

In 1995, the pharmaceutical giant entered the Turkish market. It had conducted operations in 11 countries in the Middle East region from Istanbul in the first stage, a figure that has grown to 22 in 2017, according to Larsen. The company had moved its headquarters from Athens, Greece, to Istanbul in 2007, according to Larsen, for whom the company had found Istanbul to be a more cosmopolitan hub because of both logistics and Turkish expertise.

“Istanbul is a more natural hub if you want to cover much of the Middle East, the CIS countries, and Africa. And it has proven to be a success. Because of the success of the hub, we have expanded the geographical area over the years,” he added.

In reference to what he said, there were other reasons behind the company’s move to make Istanbul the management hub of the company. The Vice President of Novo Nordisk said: “it is the appreciation of the company’s highly skilled and innovative workforce that makes it open to change, in addition to the geographical advantages of managing operations in Turkey’s largest city.”

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