Dr. Adem Akkaya, Representative NRW.INVEST Turkey/Istanbul
- What is your strongest argument in favor of promoting NRW as a business location?
Our strongest argument in favor of NRW when addressing Turkish direct investments is the market. More than 17 million consumers live in NRW, and within a 500-kilometre radius of the state capital of Düsseldorf there are as many as 160 million consumers, which corresponds to one third of all consumers in the EU. If you are looking for a metropolitan region in Europe that is comparable to Istanbul, then NRW is the right place. The metropolitan region and access to the German and European market are decisive factors for Turkish investors.
It is not only the business-to-consumer market that Turkish companies value in NRW. The business-to-business market is even more important. NRW is the industrial heartland of Germany. Many of the world's leading global players and hidden champions are at home here. This good mixture of large corporations and SMEs makes NRW the strongest industrial region in Europe and an ideal business location for Turkish suppliers who want to grow worldwide together with their German customers.
- Which economic topic is currently of particular concern to companies in Turkey?
Turkey is an export-oriented country in a crisis-ridden region. The Turkish economy is dependent on foreign capital. Securing sales markets abroad and thereby hedging exchange rate risks are the major issues and problems facing Turkish companies in recent times. This is why Turkish companies are increasingly investing in crisis-proof European sales markets.
- What is your personal connection to NRW?
As a child I lived in Alsdorf near Aachen, where I went to kindergarten and school. The castle garden just around the corner was my world as a child. It was there that I played in the sandpit, learned to ride a bicycle and was often stung by bees in the meadow. The smell of the Anna coking plant in my nose and the coal dust in the air and on the window sill are things I will never forget.