Ankara has collected initial applications from 1,200 investors for 19.6 billion Turkish Liras ($5.22 billion) of regional projects to benefit government incentives, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Jan. 24.
“The goal of the Attraction Centers Program is to make the regions that are disturbed by terrorism secure and launch already-late investments at the same time to curb migration,” Yıldırım told a news conference in Ankara regarding the program.
“As of Jan. 11, pre-requests from 1,200 applications for our Attraction Centers Program in 23 provinces has reached 19.6 billion liras,” he said.
The demand for such projects is expected to create an estimated 112,400 jobs in the country’s eastern and southeastern provinces, the prime minister added.
The government announced last June that it would introduce hassle-free investment zones for companies in eastern Turkey, where some of the country’s most under-developed provinces are located.
“The equity makes up 30 percent and the credit, which is interest-free, makes up 70 percent. You [investors] will put up 30 percent and the state will provide 70 percent of the investment. We won’t provide everything. Everybody will have a stake,” Yıldırım said.
Under the program, the government will provide the necessary infrastructure and government paperwork for investors who take ownership of their investments when the project is completed.
“By supporting manufacturing, we are opening up eastern Turkey to investment. We will give special incentives, like a 30 percent break on electricity bills, to investors who want to shift part of their investment to eastern and southeastern Turkey,” Yıldırım added.
The Turkish government aims to ensure high growth in the coming years after its economy contracted 1.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, the first such contraction since 2009.
“There is money for people who really want to invest. We will work with those who put up a stake and produce, put a value on it, and provide food and jobs to people,” the prime minister said.
The government also wants the development program to empower young women to become entrepreneurs in 23 regions.
According to Turkish officials, the program will also help stem migration from eastern Turkey to bigger, more developed provinces, such as Istanbul and Ankara.