Turkey Plans Incentive Scheme for $21 Billion in Projects

Turkey's cabinet is likely to announce an incentive scheme this month to boost investment in 20 projects ranging from healthcare to energy that are worth a total of 80 billion lira ($21 billion), Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Reuters.

The projects are chosen from seven sectors in which Turkey is highly dependent on imports, Zeybekci said in an interview, adding that imports are likely to fall by $6-7 billion annually when these projects are completed.

"We needed to have a project-based incentive system to create our own 'giants' in sectors where we are in need of technology transfer and show a current account deficit," he said in an interview late on Friday.

The investment incentives will include exemption from income and corporate tax for 10 years as well as government support on employee insurance premiums and financing interest rates, he said.

"We determined seven sectors. Turkey shows a current account deficit in transportation, health, communication, energy, metallurgy, petrochemistry and the agricultural technology sectors. Turkey is also short of technology in these sectors."

The talks with the companies are at the last stage and the projects will start to be operational this year, he said, although their real impact is expected to be seen next year. He did not give the names of the companies involved. Turkey's 2017 current account deficit is seen at just below $50 billion, with imports as $234 billion part of it.

Source: US News & Reuters - Jan 15, 2018.