2nd Investing in Turkey Forum

The 2nd Investing in Turkey Forum was hosted at the prestigious Ashurst LLP Headquarters in the great City of London. With over 120 registered delegates attending from across the globe, about 14 countries were represented from Europe (United Kingdom, Finland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Greece), the Middle East UAE, East Asia (Japan, China) and the USA.

Attendees included many Turkish public institutions and honoraries such as Mr Ahmet Unal Cevikoz, the Ambassador of the Turkish Embassy in London. This highly anticipated platform provided the opportunity to discuss the short and medium-long term difficulties presented with such great investment prospects in key lucrative sectors such as Infrastructure and PPPS, including Transportation, Healthcare and Energy. Energy is seemingly a sector that provides its own distinct challenges,  and was one of our most popular topics due to its role in the Current Account Deficit. 

The event was kindly supported by our Host (Ashurst LLP), our Silver Sponsor EkoRE and our Bronze Sponsors  Mehmet & Gun Partners and Saran-Entec Holding. Our supporting partners include the Turkish Embassy, IPFA, BCCT, DEIK and Oxford Business Group.

We were privileged to have the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Turkey, Mr Chris Gaunt, as the Chair of the conference. He providied a personal analysis of the current Turkish climate and the reality of the short time difficulties while focusing on the medium – long term prospects. Following his welcoming address, there were two speeches from  Ben Tidswell, managing partner from Ashurst LLP and The Ambassador of the Turkish Embassy in London Mr Ahmet Unal Cevikoz. Both speeches shared some positive views about Turkey as a thriving and attractive market for investors despite its challenges.

Following the welcoming addresses, the first presentation was given by Mr Ahmet Iplikci (Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey) who was able to offer a current overview of the economic climate, its advancement and particular sectors in which Turkey is looking to grow. The first panel discussion addressed an overview of the economic climate as one of the next economic giants. The panel was then welcomed to the floor moderated by Mr Cagdas Catalas (Control Risks), and consisting of experts in the market including Mr Murat Ulgen (HSBC Holdings), Mr Ahmet Iplikci (ISPAT), Mr Kanat Emiroglu (Global Energy), Jennifer Schneck (Ashurst LLP) and  Mr Paul Rawkins (Fitch Ratings). Each panellist gave a unique perspective about the growth rate of the Turkish economy, the foreign investors’ perspective and also discussed the medium and long term perspectives in light of the short term difficulties. 

Time for the first coffee break; delegates were enthusiastic about networking with speakers and delegates, filling up the reception area with an awesome view of the City of London.  Participants once again took to their seats to listen to the first case study of the conference presented by Mr Huseyin Arslan (YDA Group) who won the first PPP hospital project in Turkey. He shared the differences between the Turkish PPPs and international PPPs, while introducing some of the challenges that one could face with  Hospital PPPs and the lessons they have learnt. Mr Arslan rightly joined the subsequent panel discussion on the challenges of PPPs in Turkey, specifically the bankability of hospital PPPs and the obstacles presented with transport PPPs. Once again a line of specialists took the start as Mr Franco Vigliano (Ashurt LLP) moderated a panel consisting of Mr Matthew Jordan Tank (EBRD), Mr Peter Aurich (UniCredit), Mr Huseyin Arslan (YDA Group), Mr Tylor Hartwell (SMBC) and Mr Fabrizio Baicchi (Citigroup). Questions were taken and as time was coming to an end it seems this topic was very attractive as the panel continued for another one and a half hours altogether before a traditional Turkish Lunch.

Following some exotic Turkish cuisine, everyone returned to hear a case study of the largest infrastructure project in Turkey – Gebze Izmir Motorway project. Mr Kerim Kemahli (Nurol Holding) gave a detailed presentation of the process so far for this huge project. Mr Kemahli then joined the following panel discussion about infrastructure opportunities and the financing solutions. Moderated by Mr Patrick Boyle (Ashurst LLP), the panel included Mr Gokhan Tezcan (RBS Global Markets), Mr Mansur Mannan (Dar Capital Ltd), Mr Kerim Kemahli (Nurol Holding) and Mr Ali Sherwani (UK Export Finance). They gave varying perspectives on conditions that attract investors, new financing options such as Islamic finance and infra bonds, refinancing through infra bonds and the support of export credit agencies for PPP projects in Turkey. 

Delegates were eager to network as they perceived great opportunities for potential partnerships. After a well deserved networking break, participants returned for the Energy session as the Silver Sponsor for the conference (EkoRE) took the stage to present on Renewable energy investment opportunities in Turkey. Shortly our bronze sponsors for the conference (Mehmet Gun & Partners and Saran - Entec) joined the final panel discussion where we listened  to speakers including Ms Serra Bassoglu Gurkaynak (Mehmet & Gun Partners), Mr Martin Ewald (Allianz Global Investors), Mr Stefanos Douroudakis (Saran - Entec), Mr Teymur Abasguliyev (SOCAR), and Kanat Emiroglu (Global Energy). They discussed whether Turkey has the potential to be an Energy hub, the incentives for Renewable Energy and Oil refining investments. Questions were taken, participants were engaged and speakers were pleased with the discussion. 

Mr Chris Gaunt (BCCT) gave a few closing remarks emphasising the potential in the Turkish market, while honestly sharing the difficulties that will occur. Ultimately, Mr Gaunt expressed that in the long run, the Turkish market presents some great opportunities for investment. 

The conference came to a close and it was time for some authentic Turkish canapés and a glass of wine at our cocktail reception hosted by Ashurt LLP. Guests stayed until late, making the most of the perfect opportunity to network with participants, discuss the topics in the conference and share their general perspective.

If you are interested in accessing the conference materials (presentations, videos and delegate list), then please complete and return the necessary order form. E.E.L Events Limited will be providing a series of investment and infrastructure forums as listed below. 

If you would like to participate as a sponsor, speaker, panellist or delegate, please contact one of our representatives.

  • 4th Turkey Private Equity & Venture Capital Summit, 12 June 2014, Istanbul
  • 6th Annual Turkey Energy Congress & Exhibition. 16-17 September 2014, Istanbul
  • 3rd Annual PPP in Turkey Forum, 26-27 November 2014, Ankara

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