Syrian companies make up the most number of companies in Turkey, following German businesses
There are 8,100 companies established under the status of foreign investment by Syrians in Turkey and these companies employ nearly 100,000 people, Turkey’s Human Development Foundation (İNGEV) President Vural Çakır announced.
Stating that a strategic plan is necessary in the Syrian issue, Çakır said that a great deal of people took refuge in Turkey at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, which started in 2011, and Turkey provided humanitarian aid by allocating a great deal of resources, however the refugees had to stay in Turkey for an extended period due to the political uncertainty and ongoing war in Syria.
‘Syrians launched businesses with approximately $50,000 ’
Çakır noted that only 5 percent of the Syrian population in Turkey take shelter in refugee camps, and that 95 percent are spread across various cities and have become a part of daily life. He said that Syrians gradually began their own businesses and that they have established the highest number of companies in Turkey, following German businesses.
“There are 8,100 Syrian companies founded with foreign capital in Turkey, which were established with an average capital of $50,000. The amount of investment is increasing to half-a-billion dollars. An average of 9.4 jobs were provided in these companies which are generally small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the textile, food and construction industries. The total employment of these companies is close to 100,000 people. There are 10,000 self-employed Syrians who have not established any companies in Turkey, according to our studies,” he stated.
Syrian businessmen key in Turkey’s trade with Middle East
İNGEV Founding President Çakır pointed out that Syrian businessmen created job opportunities in Turkey. “Syrians are inclined to trade with Arab countries and they can play an important role in Turkey’s expansion to the Arab countries. The war in Syria will end someday and the country will be rebuilt. During this process, $5million to $6 million of funds will enter Syria monthly. Therefore, Syrian businessmen living in Turkey will play a key role in the reconstruction of Syria as Turkey-based in the future.”
‘Turkey should prevent shadow economy’
Çakır added that the chambers of commerce play a fundamental role so that Syrian businessmen in Turkey can adapt to the Turkish financial system in terms of regulations and that Syrian employees without work permits can be registered. He stressed that Turkish companies abstain from the Syrian refugee issue, and added: “While many companies in the world are conducting studies for refugees, the companies in Turkey are passive on this issue. They should be bolder.”
Syrian companies prominent in ‘shoe industry’
Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce (GTO) President Beyhan Hıdıroğlu stated that the number of Syrian companies registered at the GTO, which was 14 before the civil war, is now 200. Noting that Syrian entrepreneurs are prominent in some industries, “For instance, they are active in the manufacture of shoes and plastic slippers and in the garment industry,” Hıdıroğlu added.
Turkey currently hosts over 3.2 million Syrian refugees who escaped the six-and-a-half-year civil war, according to a UN Refugee Agency report.