(Yicai Global) Jan. 8 -- Turkey aims to attract more tourists and investment from China this year through the roll-out of new initiatives, supported by an improving political environment in the country.
The country's strategic position allows Chinese firms to not only see returns in the local market but also boost global competitiveness through access to nearby markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, said Sabri Tunc Angili, Turkey's consul-general in Shanghai, on the sidelines of the PwC Discover the Potential of Turkey conference held on Friday.
The Turkish government wants to bring in foreign investment in the energy sector so that it can reduce reliance on imports of clean energy such as solar, wind and nuclear. Authorities also aim for increased investment related to infrastructure construction, high-technology, e-commerce and tourism.
"In Turkey, returns are high and risks are low in areas such as energy, telecommunications, transportation, infrastructure and general contracting," said Noyan Rona, a former Turkish diplomat and the chief representative in Shanghai for Turkey's Garanti Bank A.S., adding, "Chinese companies primarily invest in these industries. We have never heard of Chinese firms losing money or leaving the Turkish market, they remain upbeat about the Turkish market."
Tourism represents Turkey's largest source of foreign exchange earnings excluding exports. China previously agreed to designate this year 'Turkey Tourism Year' which could lead to a boost in tourist numbers to the country.
Turkey aims to attract around one million visitors from China this year. To support this, the government has increased the number of local Chinese-speaking tour guides and encouraged travel agencies to create a friendlier environment for Chinese visitors by paying attention to cultural-specific details such as the provision of hot drinking water.
The Turkish government has also opened Confucius Institutes to encourage more young Turks to learn Chinese.