Global investors landed on 3 sectors in Istanbul

Last year, 12 thousand 644 foreign investors established companies with TRY3.3 billion in Istanbul. Global investors were most interested in the services, retail, and the information technologies sectors in the megacity.

German companies preferred investing in the services; Dutch companies were interested in investing in the retail sector while the US companies opted for the information technologies.

GLOBAL investors focused on three sectors in Istanbul, one of the few metropoles in Istanbul. According to the '2019 Foreign Investment and Capital Indicators Report in Istanbul' prepared by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the sectors attracting the foreign investors were listed as services, retail, and information technologies (IT).


According to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce trade registries, companies with a total capital of TRY3 billion 366 million 653 thousand and 810 were established in 2019 by 12 thousand and 644 foreign investors. In concern with the companies established with foreign capital, the number of foreign investors decreased by 7.68% in Istanbul in 2019 compared to 2018. This rate was 107.30% in 2018 and 20.61% in 2017.


Regarding the newly founded companies, services, retail, and IT were listed as the sectors drawing the highest number of foreign investors. Three thousand and 208 investors invested in the services sector with a capital of TRY1 billion 89 billion 600 thousand and 50. Following the services sector, 3 thousand and 115 investors were included in the retail industry and invested TRY852 million 721 thousand and 54. Finally, the IT sector drew a capital of TRY289 million 179 thousand and 855 of 615 investors.

During this period, the foreign investors preferred the services, retail, and IT sectors the most in terms of the amount of capital. 54.87% of the foreign investors in Istanbul and 66.28% of the subscribed capital focused on three main sectors.


Among the total foreign investors, the services attracted the highest number of foreign investors with 25.37% while the retail had 24.64%, IT has 4.86%, and textiles had a 10.32 % market share. In terms of foreign capital value, 32.36 % of total foreign capital consisted of services, 25.33 % is retail, and 8.59 % is the IT sector.

Considering the total capital committed by the foreign investors registered last year with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the average capital per foreign investor is TRY266 thousand 265 TL. In the average amount of capital per foreign investor, the IT sector stands out with TRY470 thousand. Energy with TRY425 thousand and services with TRY339 thousand were the sectors with the highest value per member in foreign investors.


The top five countries with the highest amount of capital invested in Istanbul in 2019 were Syria, the Netherlands, Iran, Germany, and Jordan.  The foreign capital value committed by the  3 thousand and 154 Syrian investors to establish business was TRY463 million. The Syrians mostly preferred investing in the retail sector in the megacity. With 93 investors and a capital of TRY346 million, the Netherlands ranked second in the list. Dutch companies focused on retail as well. Iran ranked third with 1,846 investors and TRY211 million TL investment. Iranian companies opted for the services sector for their investments.


German investors remained at the top of the list in the services sector, with 96 investors and TRY107.9 million capital. Saudi Arabia followed Germany with 57 investors and a capital of TRY107 million. For the retail industry, the Netherlands emerges as the country with the highest investment amount with 14 investors and TRY242.4 million capital. Syria follows the Netherlands with 722 investors and TRY112.3 million capital, Libya, with 159 investors and TRY59 million capital.

In the IT sector, 36 investors from the USA have gained weight in the industry with an investment of TRY81.1 million.

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