ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Carver (R) says it is worth taking risks to invest in Turkey’s Mardin, while Çelik (L) predicts that locals will spend more in the future. Company photo
Investing in Turkey is more profitable than investing in China, according to Martin Carver, chief executive of a U.S.-based company that recently invested $36 million in a shopping mall, aqua park and hotel in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin.
“Upon meeting with some local businessmen in Mardin, I have decided to invest in the project,” said Carver, head of MG Consulting, while speaking to Hürriyet Daily News during a recent interview in Istanbul.
“I see no economic growth in European markets. That is why I would rather invest in Turkey,” he said.
Movapark, a shopping mall project in Mardin, will have a total area of 54,000 square meters in addition to an aqua park. “After completing the mall and aqua park project, we will also start construction of a five-star hotel with nearly 300 rooms,” he said.
Following the death of his father Roy J. Carver, founder of the U.S.-based Bandag tire chain, Carver served on the company’s board between 1981 and 2007. The company was sold to Bridgestone in December 2006 for nearly $1 billion, so Carver began investing in promising projects in multiple countries, including China, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore and finally Turkey.
Many Western companies still hesitate to invest in Turkey’s southeast due to ongoing unrest in the region, Carver noted. “They are not taking the risk for higher profit,” Carver said, noting that investing in emerging markets with robust growth was no more a choice but a necessity to diversify risks in an investment portfolio.
Kenan Çelik, board chairman of Movapark, said the life standards of the locals in the region were changing rapidly. “Southeastern Anatolia Project [GAP], the biggest irrigation project, is close to being completed. Locals will earn more from their fields and spend more in the future,” Çelik told the Daily News.
A new border gate in Nusaybin on Turkey’s Syrian border would energize the business climate in Mardin. “We know that the relations with Syria are still problematic, but once things settle down, the city will be the gateway to the Middle East and Arab Peninsula,” Çelik said.