TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS PRIME MINISTRY CYPRUS TURKISH INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

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1 TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS PRIME MINISTRY CYPRUS TURKISH INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT AGENCY INVESTMENT STRATEGY RETREAT (CONFERENCE) REPORT OF NORTHERN CYPRUS TRNC Prime Ministry Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) started its studies for establishing Northern Cyprus Investment Strategy which has been lacking. In this context, it was envisaged to include many activities like workshops, surveys and conferences together with different studies. As a result of all of these studies and different evaluations, it will be possible to put our Investment Strategy forth. YAGA aims to put the five year Investment Guidance and Promotion Strategy of our country into practice at the end of For this purpose, the Retreat (Fact-Finding Conference for Investment Strategy of North Cyprus) was organized under the auspices of YAGA and TRNC Prime Ministry. At the conference held at Merit Crystal Cove Hotel in Girne between the dates of Mart 2008, 4 workshops were conducted as well. The subjects were set considering the preparatory work for drafting Investment Strategy. The subjects were as follows: (1) The Investments as anchor of Sustainable Development (2) Promotion of Northern Cyprus, (3) Establishing focal points (targeting sectors) and (4) Increasing investments. The discussions and findings of the Conference and 4 workshop groups are summarized in this report below. This section provides information on each workshop under the headings of (1) Participants, (2) The Purpose of Workshop Group, (3) Evaluations and (4) Suggestions. WORKSHOP GROUP 1: The Investments as anchor of Sustainable Development Participants: Mehmet Başel, Haluk Mut, Hasan Sungur, Ünal Akifler, Arcan Ekdal, Şua Saraçoğlu, Kaan Kaner, Tahir Yeşilada, Necdet Ergün, Gazi Özhan, Ömer Köseoğlu, Laik Topcan Mesutoğlu, Emete Đmge, Mustafa Besim, Fatma Güven Lisaniler, Ahmet Kofalı, Derya Beyatlı, Salih Tacan Ersümer, Osman Çağakan Moderator: Ekrem Karademir Rapporteur: Bengü Mındıkoğlu Speaker: Đsmail Bozkurt Three main aims were put forth in this workshop: (1) Setting the problems, obstacles for investments, (2) Providing resolutions and (3) Ensuring common understanding and dialogue. Sayfa 1 / 14

2 The basic question asked to the group in order to reach these targets was: What are the obstacles, problems and difficulties faced by the local and foreign investors in the sectors of goods and services manufacturing which are contributing sustainable development of the countries? The participants pointed out and discussed several issues and gave extensive answers. The participants considered not only the environmental issues related with sustainability but also the social and economic issues were taken into account. They defined the sustainable development as sound development. 1. Due to the political reasons, Government offices are run with the unqualified civil servants. They are working un-efficiently and un effectively without coordination, 2. The vision of public administration does not take what motivates investors into consideration, 3. There is bureaucratic difficulties, obstacle to get necessary licences for investment and there is lack of coordination between decision making authorities related with investment, 4. The financing cost of investment is too high, 5. Influence of Politics (populist policies, public administration, anomy, uninstitutionalized) 6. No continuity of the State Policies, 7. Distortions experiencing at the usage of Turkish aids, 8. Unawares of the comparative advantages of country and also there is no analyses. 9. Lack of physical plan and sectoral master plan, 10. Lack of legal infrastructure that zooms out the investors, 11. Institutional obstacles, difficulties; insufficient institutionalization of the agencies, 12. Lack of qualification & vision to promote our country to foreign investors, 13. Unstable economic situation. 14. Narrow-minded economic and political approaches, 15. Lack of perceiving the importance of the economy, 16. Lack of necessary laws, regulation and economic instruments for environmental protection, energy saving and water usage, 17. Lack of international legitimacy; lack of a stable, international recognition and prescribed economic system, 18. Red tape 19. Uncertainty at the costs of producing and supplying services, 20. No coordination at the macro economic management and unclear economic targets. The above problems were discussed by the participants and prioritized according to their importance level. The 9 prioritized problems are set as follows: 1-Lack of Economic Vision and Strategy, 2-Dependance of aid from Republic of Turkey and inefficient usage of these resources, 3-Problems in the Planning and Legislation, 4-Lack of necessary Infrastructure, 5- Political Uncertainty, 6-Bureaucratic Structure, 7-Financial Stability and limited access to financial markets, 8-Uncertainty of supplying Inputs 9-Difficulties in Human Resources. Out of 9 problems the participants decided to make extensive discussions and proposing solutions on the below 4 problems considering that they are the most important ones. The solution proposals for 4 main problems that discussed and put forward by the participants included the time that is necessary to solve that problem, the first steps, the leadership, stakeholders, required cooperation, risks, monitoring indicators at the implementation phase. Sayfa 2 / 14

3 I. Lack of Economic Vision and Strategy The participants suggested two solution proposals to solve the problem of the lack of coordination and uncertainty of the economic targets in the economical authority due to the narrow-minded economical and political approaches with no vision: (1) Preparing the 5 years development plan and programs will be in six months with a firm commitment and support from political body with strong political will to implement the programs. First step is defined as establishment of the political will and issuance of the decision of Council of Ministers related with this. The Prime Ministry, leader of this solution, and all stakeholders for instance Government Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Economic Organizations, Universities, were defined as solution partners. The coordination mechanism envisaged as this solution is to form Social and Economic Council. Failing to establish Political Will was seen as the main risk of the solution. It was planned to monitor the implementation of the solution with the annual performance measurement and evaluation reports. It was noted that the performance measurement and evaluation reports to be prepared should be structured as transparently and to include all the reasons clearly. (2) Together with the political will, a formal mechanism that will provide coordination and monitoring of this program will be formed within Prime Ministry in 3 months. The decision of the Prime Minister to initiate and lead this solution and establish political will was counted as first steps. The leader for this solution is considered as Prime Minister and the solution partners are considered as Ministry of Finance, Economy and Tourism Ministry, Central Bank, Development Bank and Ministries and State Agencies related with this subject. For this reason, it was required to form a Secretariat within Prime Ministry, to organize and report the monthly meetings. The behaviour of the Ministries of acting independently was counted as a risk for this solution. In order to monitor the program, it was proposed to assess on the decisions of meeting and the compatibility of the implementation. It was stressed that the economic developments, meetings and policies produced should be announced to the public opinion through press regularly. II. Dependence of aid from Republic of Turkey and inefficient usage of these resources, Three proposals were developed for the solution of this problem. (1) Establishing independent structure for the funds from Turkey from politics and the government in a year. As the first step for this solution, it was envisaged that the authorities of Turkish Republic and TRNC should take a joint decision towards this direction. The leader for solution is decided to be TRNC President and the solution partners are considered as the political parties, NGOs, media and academicians. The necessary mechanism is envisaged to be ad-hoc committee to be formed by the leader for solution and solution partners to provide necessary studies. The risks in this solution are considered to be a long-term political expectations of the authorities related with the aids and the positions and expectations of the interest groups and political parties in TRNC. The monitoring indicators of the solution are stated as sharing the targets and realizations achieved with the public transparently. In the statement made, it was stated that the aids are not independently managed politics is involved. So this structure prevents TRNC to have productive political structure, this marks loss of resources, it distorts local polical will and it also causes communal ethical depression. Sayfa 3 / 14

4 (2) Cut the link between aid and the budget disbursed the aid on investments and decide on to the amount of aid in a year. To implement this, as a first step it was envisaged to amend the budget law. The leader for solution is considered as the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce and the solution partners are considered as platform establish by representatives of business world, academicians, intellectuals, as well as aid parties and authorities who take or give aids. The activities to establish cooperation the leader is expected to work on forming lobby groups;, preparing proposal of draft laws, and lobby activities convincing government bodies and Parliament. The risk here is, however, set as the resistance of the unions and interest groups. As the benchmark, it was envisaged that making amendment at the laws and realization of the above mentioned activities. (3) In a year the aids is expected to be allocated and used according to the priorities that set by the TRNC authorities. The first stage was determined as the transferring of the authorities of Turkish Aid Committee to TRNC government. The leader for solution is considered as the Civil Initiative Platform consisted of business world organizations, unions, academicians and similar organizations and the solution partners are considered as the political organization and media. The need for the preparation of a joint declaration of a common aim by non-governmental platform was emphasized. The political assessments and applications away from economic logic particularly of the assistance authority were identified as a main risk factor. It was envisaged to follow closely the activities of the Turkish Aid Committee is set as monitoring indicator. Additionally it was stressed that the three solutions, proposed have to be put in place simultaneously for better solution. III. Lack of necessary Infrastructure In this part the focus was given on three sub-problems: 1. Lack of Sufficient Electricity Production Capacity Proposal for a solution that covers the long run of 5 years and more, is the establishment of partnerships between the local and foreign investors and take into consideration the suggestions stated at the concluding remarks of the Symposium on Energy Policy prepared by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Architects and Engineers in May 2007 during the investment process. The first step to be taken in this field is to collect necessary statistical data and calculate the demand-supply of electricity depending on an economical analysis. Solution leaders were identified as the related Ministry, KIB-TEK (Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority), The Chamber of Electrical Engineers and TRNC Development Bank, and the solution partners were decided to be Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Architects and Engineers, The Union of Electrical Contractors, local authorities (municipalities). To manage this, it was envisaged that the relevant laws should be reviewed, obstacles in front of the investors should be removed, and the Public should not incur any costs due to this change. Also to make necessary changes in the laws by the Council of Ministers is considered. The main risks for this solution pointed out to be not making any revisions of the obstructive articles in the laws and environmental costs. As a way of monitoring solution, it was proposed that KIB-TEK would prepare 6-month review reports and send them to the Ministry and other relevant stakeholders. Also it was added that the Public should be informed about this and the project should be included to the annual fiscal budget. Sayfa 4 / 14

5 2. Increasing the Drinking Water Capacity As a solution, it was proposed that regarding the short (0-2 years) or medium term (2-5 years) first desalinating sea water should be carried out and/or as an alternative, water should be brought from Turkey. The first work to be carried out was decided to be the allocation of appropriate place by the sea and carry out a financial analysis of carrying water from Turkey. The solution leaders were identified as the related Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Water Department and Local Administrations, the solution partners as the Ministry of Finance, investors and Water Department. For this reason, it was pointed out that the necessary calculations to determine economic and financial cost of meter cube water which will be used to compare various alternatives have to be made. The risk was identified to be the difficulties of establishing an installation in the international waters if requires. Monitoring indicator was said to be sharing the work on the project with the public. It was added that the project reports should be prepared regularly. 3. Communication and Transportation As a solution in the long term (5 years or more), it was proposed that the possibility to use the old railway should be assessed and alternative projects should be prepared. Taking into account the difficulties concerning with expatriation, it was envisaged that as a first step a public poll should be carried out and a new (railway) route should be identified for alternative projects. It was decided that the project should be carried out under the leadership of the Directorate of Highways in partnership with the Ministry related with Public Works and Transportation, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Interior. Addition to this the need for foreign investment was stressed. The risks were identified as the lack of sufficient number of passengers and cargo. Indicator is said to be the support for the project by the public. It was also stressed that it was important for the political parties to support the projects. IV. The problems related with Planning and Regulations Participants in this group specified three sub-problems about difficulties related with planning and regulations and proposed some measures: 1. Fall in the quality of foreign house buyers coming into the country and the indirect negative impacts of the emerging contradictions in the quality of the different house products to the tourism sector. It was proposed that since the housing construction in the country currently targets middle and low income groups, the relevant legislation has to be changed to target high income groups. It was designed that the necessary research and legislative changes are made in the short term (0-2 years), the determination of the marketing strategies are made in the medium term (2-5 years) and the identification of the monitoring and the necessary arrangements are made in the long term (5 years or more). The first stage in the solution is explained to be the research and identification of the consumer quality and their mosaic. The solution leader was identified to be the related Ministry and the solution partners are the cooperation mechanisms were the City Planning Department, Union of Estate Agencies, Union of Contractors, District Officer and Municipalities. The envisaged risk was the failure to reach the targeted consumer group. 2. The negative impact of planning and environmental protection decisions on private property right is resulted to increase uncertainty. This creates discouragement on investment decisions, ownership of property, hence increase the risk of investment.. Sayfa 5 / 14

6 As a solution, it is set that arrangements should be done to balance the restriction effect of planning and environmental protection decisions with value increase of the property. Setting a workshop committee between City Planning Authority and private sector in the short term (0-2 years), establishing a structural framework for system in the medium term (2-5 years) and putting it in force in the long term (5 and more) were envisaged. First of all, a committee representatives from state and private sector, universities and European Union, have to be set up in two months. The solution leader was identified as YAGA, the solution partners as representative of private sector, City Planning Authority, State Planning Organization, Antiquates Department and Museums Authority, Environmental Protection Department, related professional and non-governmental organizations, the representatives of Turkish Republic and European Union. In order to implement this, making research, putting forth of findings, adaptation to local conditions and making necessary legislation were proposed. The risks were identified as lack of political will and mutual confidence. Establishing the committee in two months, defining research subjects and setting subject areas in 6 months were put as monitoring indications. 3. Irregular developments create uncertainty and instability, on property right in different regions of country.. This situation influenced on the investments hence the decision on the way and means to develop of country. Preparation of the physical plan of country was suggested by the group. Forming a working group, preparing a budget, deciding on first proposals are considered to be in the short term; ensuring participation in the middle term; setting enforcement mechanism and other details in the long term were agreed. Preparation of the budget and establishing working group are the first steps to be carried out. The solution leader was identified as the Ministry of Interior, the solution partners as City Planning Department, Municipalities, related state departments, private sector, related unions and non-governmental organizations. In order to realize this, participation and taking common/agreed decision are necessary. The risk was identified as lack of budgetary funds, political will, mutual confidence, skilled personnel and experts. Including of a budget planner and non-governmental organizations (after two months) to the process were suggested as monitoring indication. WORKSHOP 2: MARKETING NORTH CYPRUS Participants: Dilek Orhon, Ozan Razı, Yücem Rasımoğlu, Salih Kasap, Göksel Saydam, Halil Nadiri, Veli Beidoglu, Sarp Sartel, Nuri Tilgen, Niyazi Öykener, Sami Güdenoglu, Işık Oray, Anıl Yılmaz Moderator: Anıl Yılmaz Rapporteur: Cemre Erel Speaker: Reha Arar This workshop has three aims: (1) Determining the advantages of investing in the country and (2) Determining the disadvantages of investing in the country (3) Defining a investment promotion strategy for Northern Cyprus considering current situation and future opportunities. Sayfa 6 / 14

7 I. The advantages of investing in the country According to the study, one and the most important advantages of investing on North Cyprus is the development potential of the country. Under this heading, the participants emphasized that starvation to investments in the country and EU membership prospect of North Cyprus are the positive points in order to promote North Cyprus. In addition to this, since Cyprus is an island, opportunities of having sea and its resources, potential on fishing sector are very important in terms of investments. Geographical location of the island is another advantage for Cyprus. Being very strategic location in the Mediterranean, it is pointed out that potential investors are observing many investment opportunities. Moreover, history, culture and climate of the country are advantages in terms of promoting country. At the study on sectoral basis considering possible investments in the country, the importance of unspoilt ness (virginity) of investment areas, which is an important factor for tourism sector, was also emphasized. II. The disadvantages of investing in the Country The difficulties in front of the promoting North Cyprus have been analyzed. According to the participants, the biggest difficulties (disadvantages) are related with bureaucracy (red tape) and problems foreseen at the legislations. It has been determined that the factors like bureaucratic difficulties, not taking any initiative by the state, lack of legislation, as well as protectionism are the most important problems in front of the promoting country with a genuine image, discourage the foreign investments. Moreover, political uncertainty, which is rooted from present conditions, is an important disadvantage in order to promote country. Also non-recognition situation of North Cyprus and transportation problems have negative results on it. In addition, uncertainty and instability in the country are important disadvantages for investors. Small scale economy and its effect on costs are counted as other disadvantages. III. Investment Promotion Strategy: Solution Proposal After determining advantages and disadvantages, solution proposals have been set forth in group studies, to ease the present problems and change factors which are listed as barriers to the investments. The barriers of the solution and related organizations to solve these problems are defined. It was determined that many factors, like education, tourism, nature, culture and history, are important in order to promote North Cyprus abroad with a genuine image. Related with this: 1. Targeting of scientists (especially medical scientist), manufacturers, trade groups and tourists, students and students families on the flight destinations. 2. Establishing a Public Relations Committee under the Tourism Ministry with broad participation. While the participants were suggesting establishing it as a state body, they proposed to appoint professional independent expert in charge. The representatives of some ministries and government agencies (like National Education Ministry, Tourism Ministry, and Chamber of Commerce) it stated to have seat at the committee. It is noted that by establishing this Committee to make necessary planning to promote North Cyprus abroad with a genuine image could be achieved. Sayfa 7 / 14

8 The participants who believed that the solution proposal would be realised by the leadership of the institutions of Air and Sea lines and Turkish Cypriots who know the world, also envisaged that this could done in a shorter time. The most important obstacles in front of this solution are budgetary limitations, instability, un-institutionalization and lack of infrastructure. Also it is stated that Cyprus problem is also another risk. The other proposal for the solution is to create a young and dynamic image for North Cyprus to be promoted. It is pointed out that the advantage of unexplored nature and development of product by using cultural and historical resources and niche investment opportunities should be stated. Northern Cyprus is already declared that there is an urgent need for niche investments for the sustainable development of the country. Also the importance of the announcement of the studies related with this and promoting Northern Cyprus has been pointed. On the other hand it is envisaged that using sensational media and marketing on the internet was appropriate. The sector (product) that will be introduced has to be chosen very sensitively and promoting companies properly and pervasively is considered to be beneficial. It was stressed that at this method that would last long (+5 year) the private sector would be very important and the bureaucracy and legal aspect of it is expected to appear as obstacle. And Cyprus problem again stated as a risk and ambiguity. In other solution proposal it was stated that the promotion of Northern Cyprus must be based investors must feel that they hold very precious It was stressed that Northern Cyprus should be prepared itself by providing clear tax encouragements and advantages, good infrastructure possibilities, secure investment environment, qualified manpower, good bureaucracy, and appropriate legal legislation. It was indicated that target groups and target investors have to be selected for this purpose. To select those investors the following sectors and factors was noted as very important: 1- Service Sector (trade and finance, tourism, education, health) 2- Free Zones 3- See and Fishing Sector Also, developing convenient marketing for target investment groups and stating concrete targets were suggested. To be able to inform investors about Northern Cyprus professionally, those listed means were considered; 1-Individual marketing (preparing special marketing file to investors, using current investors), 2-Visual and written hand book, 3-Informing the media, 4-Fairs to inform investors, 5-Internet marketing, 6-Special marketing for target investors groups, It is stated that the problems in this area would be solved in medium or short term and YAGA, SPO, Development Bank, financial associations, universities and political bodies would be important stakeholders. Foreign investment agencies and foreign trade offices would support this issue however the most important obstacles were pointed as bureaucracy (red tape), current infrastructure, politics and lack of necessary legislation. Cyprus problem was stated as the most important risk factor. Sayfa 8 / 14

9 WORKSHOP GROUP 3: Creating Focus Points (Sectors) Participants: Cem Tanova, Ramazan Gündoğdu, Ahmet Midem, Durmuş Erçakıca, Belgin Eminer, Ödül Muhtaroğlu, Vasfi Candan, Nazif Çataloğlu, Ziynet Şah, Ali Gürsoy, Nalan Tunga, Mine Yücel, Hasret Benar, Cenap Tunga Moderator: Volkan Erkan Rapporteur: Ahmet Saydam Speaker: Hasan Onalt The aim of this workshop group was to find an answer to the question of which sector/subsector do we need to attract investments Why? The participants listed some sub sectors of the service sectors. Those are: Transportation, Tourism, Health, Education, ICT (Software), Construction, Agriculture and Energy sectors. After the following evaluation Tourism and Health Tourism Sectors, Educational Sector, and agriculture and energy sectors were put forward. It is also noted that Especially Transportation sector needs to be improved to contribute to the tourism sector.. The group assessment on the above mentioned sectors are as follows: I. Tourism and Health Tourism Sector It is stated that rather than mass tourism it is better to focus on the investments on care centres for elderly people. Also the contingency of climate of Northern Cyprus hence potential to develop special interest tourism was pointed out. Especially to extend tourism activities to whole year especially to winter time, it is thought that sports and golf tourism would provide important source to the country to attract high end tourists. The name of our Country Cyprus is already trademark and it has special cuisine, and the closeness of Mediterranean to other sees is its important advantages. Addition to this in case of a solution of Cyprus problem, investments must be planned and realized to meet the extensive incomings of the tourists that is expected to come from other countries of the world. And it is stated that the investments must be supported with efficient and good transportation system as well. It is found important to target luxury cruises and luxury yachts tours and also to improve the marinas. It is evaluated that there is a need of 2 or 3 marinas in a capacity of yachts in Northern Cyprus. The most important point is that Cyprus is on the route of yachts and the yachts departing from Turkey need stop in the Mediterranean. The location of Cyprus which is suitable for maritime transport and participating to World Yacht Rally Organisation is stated main reasons to focus on marina investments. It is pointed out that investments in health sector must be considered to service to internal and external demands. On the other hand health tourism must be improved as tourist packages (accommodation, activities, food etc) for attracting interested people from other countries (noted that especially cardiovascular diseases areas must be focused). According to some of the participants Arabic investors are culturally more close to us so that it is also possible to take attention of Arabic investors in those countries. Especially Dubai and Kuwait was noted as important focus points. Addition to this it is pointed out that this kind of services must be high quality with EU standards and also expert doctors and personnel must be trained properly. It is offered that some sub sectors in health service sector that are not applicable in some countries due to the religion and political pressure Sayfa 9 / 14

10 offered to be focus on and developed as well. The participants pointed out that to keep our resources in Northern Cyprus we should focus on promoting investments in this field. II. Education Sector First of all participants overviewed the universities in TRNC. It is stated that the 6 universities (it will be 7 with ITU soon) could easily provide local educated staff and would provide revenue to country by promoting student tourism. Also, it is underlined that the level of education and standards must be improved. Also, investments on foreign language schools could be promoted and considering foreign investor profiles other languages should be encouraged to make investments in this field. Also the importance of planning education of people according to the need of sectors and especially filling the gap of intermediate staff was pointed out as a important issue. III. Agriculture and Energy Sector Participants pointed out to the importance of Build-Operate-Transfer investments at the energy sector (production and distribution). Especially, due to EU harmonization process of Northern Cyprus it is pointed out those attracting foreign investors to make alternative energy investments is very important. Since sun is important resource for our country, it is noted that producing electricity from solar panels would be very convenient.however it should be noted that producing this kind of energy is expensive and the investment would payback in long run. Also, considering its geographical location, it also stated that wind energy could be used in some areas (Kantara and Koruçam Regions). On the other hand it is said that sea water purification would be ideal investments. However it was claimed that purification would cause see pollution. Participants mentioned that the Northern Cyprus provides many advantages for energy production. The support from the funds of Turkey and EU for the environment and infrastructure investments is seen as an opportunity for the development of energy sector. However the political uncertainty, embargos and macro-economic discrepancy are listed as disadvantages of the country. The lack of infrastructure and state monopoly of the sector are also mentioned as some other disadvantages. Additionally the lack of single authority for the Water issues is counted as another disadvantage. IV Agriculture Sector As a result of the discussions it is decided that there is need to focus on small scaled but quality production in agriculture sector. Especially it is mentioned that local investors would focus on this sector and especially grape agriculture is pointed out as important production. Also participants came to the conclusion that the focus on exporting Verigo grape that is endemic to our country is necessary. Considering rising importance and production of organic products in the world, organic farming stated as a potential investment area to be focus on.. According to the results it is cleared that legislations about fishing must be renewed. The group also discuss the potential of the country related to the fishery sector. Especially, considering the world market share of fishes passing from the Karpas peninsula of the Country, these investment opportunities must be offered to local producers. Participants also took on board that being an island it would be difficult and not convenient to focus on heavy-industries. However it is pointed out that developing electronic tools production (small pieces) would be beneficial. Also it is added that food sector would be developed. Underlined that local producer would provide food to hotels, Sayfa 10 / 14

11 casinos and restaurants. Especially it is mentioned that developing service sector like banking, finance and technology would be beneficial for the country as well. It is also noted that the real estate sector could be put in sustainable way after developing the transportation sector.. WORKSHOP GROUP 4: Increasing Investments Participants: Mehmet Ceylanlı, Sadık Şah, Nalan Nazlı, Öcal Erten, Öntaç Düzgün, Mustafa Noyan, Mustafa Gündüz, Özge Özler, Teberrüken Uluçay Moderator: Ömer Gökçekuş Rapporteur: Mehmet Yıldırım Speaker: Alpay Avşaroğlu In this workshop, three subjects were emphasized. (1) Improving of investment climate. What kind of investment climate are we seeking to increase investments in sustainable way? (2) Incentives. What will be the role and how we increase their efficiency? (3) What kind of a route should Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency follow to provide better services to the investors? 1. Improving of Investment Climate First of all, the discussions were on the necessity of improving of investment climate and how to handle and make arrangements. Settings have been listed under 9 headings: 1. Lack of Mechanism to handle Commercial Problems. It was envisaged that inefficiency of these mechanisms was important barrier. So, focusing on the studies to establish specialized courts and arbitration mechanism would be beneficial. 2. Inability to define the areas which can be offered to the investors. It was agreed on that lack of inventory was a barrier in front of the investments. It was stated that inventory should be prepared as soon as possible. 3. Lack of Sector Evaluations. It was stated that there was a deficiency in the economy in terms of sector and investment varieties, and it was put forth that feasible investments in different areas should be supported and encouraged. 4. Problems related to industrial areas. This problem is discussed considering three aspects: composition, infrastructure and distribution of industrial areas. 5. Lack of legal infrastructure. The group especially emphasized on the lack of competition, arbitration, patent, copyrights and company law regulations and also inappropriate and/or inefficient accounting systems. 6. Lack of physical infrastructure. It was put forth that especially related with education and informatics technologies sectors, there is a need to focus on improving infrastructure to develop above mentioned sectors. 7. Unfairness between public and private sector employments. It was noted that there is a big difference in the salaries and social security rights of employees of these sectors, and public sector prevented the development of private sector by providing high salary and a better social security benefits. 8. Problems related to financing sector. It was stressed that current situation of the financial sector is not addressing the needs of the investors. Also it is stated that Sayfa 11 / 14

12 deposits of the country could not be directed to the investors in the country and interest rates and terms of credits were not suitable. 9. Lack of statistical information and difficulty of obtaining current information. The group was emphasized that reliable data provision is very important for investors.. After above discussions the group conducted small questionnaire. This questionnaire was design to get opinion of the group that categorized below: (1) Participants prioritized the Settings. (2) The reasons of the problem: (a) due to lack of legal arrangement (b) due complicated and unarticulated legislation, (c) due to lack of proper implementation. (3) The term to solve this problem: short term (average 1 year), medium term (3-5 years), long term (5-10 years). The group especially emphasized on the lack of competition, arbitration, patent, copyrights and company law regulations and also inappropriate and/or inefficient accounting systems stated above at article 5 is the most important one. Problems related to financing sector and lack of mechanism to handle commercial problems was stated as the second and third important problems. The reason for those problems were stressed by the participants that there was no legislation related to the competition, arbitration and patent and copyrights. The reason for the second problem related with lack of solving commercial problems was pointed out as the legislation complexities in the legislations. The reason for the problem in the financing sector was set as scarce of the convenient credit terms. Finally the participants made discussions on the term to solve those problems, involving parties, mechanisms to coordinate and proposals for solution. Out of these discussions the below outcomes was obtained; 1. Legal Arrangements In this context, it was envisaged that Competition draft law was on the agenda of parliamentary committee and it is expected to be enacted in 3 months. It was also expressed that anti-damping issue must be evaluated within the context of competition law. It was envisaged that public and private sector representatives should prepare a draft in 12 months under the coordination of Ministry of Economy. The importance of involvement of private sector representatives for instance the Chambers of Commerce and Chamber of Industry was also emphasized. Moreover, preparation of a comprehensive drafts in 9 months for Patent and copyright laws was also stated. 2. Financial Sector It is pointed out that to increase the credit amount that would be directed to the private sector by the financial sector, transparent company s balance sheet prepared inline with accounting standards of the EU is necessary. Within this framework, it was envisaged that Ministry of Finance and the other related state bodies should prepare a report in 6 months with current situation and the proposals. In addition to this, it was also proposed that Central Bank, Banks Union and Ministry of Finance should submit proposal report in a month on how to improve interest and term conditions. Sayfa 12 / 14

13 3. Mechanisms to solve Commercial Problems On the issue of solving commercial problems, it was emphasized to amend related laws, make necessary changes to have functional and effective judiciary period of the Courts and activate and speed up the application of judiciary results and to create mechanisms for dealing trade conflicts out of the Courts. In addition to this, it was proposed to the Ministry of Economy and Tourism to prepare an assessment report together with related departments and associations within 6 months. II. Incentives The group assessed on that improving investment climate would not be enough to attract investors. They discussed the importance of providing convenient incentives and questioned the current incentive scheme of the Northern Cyprus to assess on its attractiveness. The most important 16 problems were put forth related to current incentive scheme. These are: 1. Scheme is not effective. 2. Uncertainty and in competencies at the provision of incentives. 3. Lack of rules and criteria and transparency at the process of allocating land, to investments. 4. Incentives related with education sector do not contribute to the provision of necessary staff to the reel sectors. In this context, it is recommended that consistent with investment strategy of Northern Cyprus, the incentive scheme should be design to consider training the necessary staff for the sectors stated at the strategy document. The suggestions related with the incentive scheme are listed as following: 1. To revise current incentive scheme for effectiveness 2. To ease procedures for young investors and to remove difficulties for young entrepreneurs and to give credits considering feasibility of projects (cash flow lending). 3. To supervise investors who do not demand incentives and issue criteria. Make the necessary permission and supervision process more effective and efficient. 4. To determine clearly and transparently specifications and rules related to leasing state land and related contracts and cancel the contracts in case of not obeying the rules and prevent gratuities contracts. To collect land rent after the business starts. To emphasize on giving public lands in less developed regions first. 5. To note the difficulties in exporting of products from Northern Cyprus and take the demand of world market and world prices before developing and improving production sectors. 6. To ensure that the provision of incentives should ensure increase in the quality and standards of the Education sector. Provide incentives to the secondary and high school levels as well. Increase the level of education at the public schools. 7. To encourage efficient and successful investments and prevent endless leasing land option to investors. 8. To increase the power of sanction of contracts with necessary laws and specialized court in case of a disagreement. 9. To shorten incentive provision procedure to lessen the time spend by the investors create clear, shortest procedure for applying and getting incentives. 10. To prevent overlap between different incentives schemes ensure cooperation and coordination between related departments. Sayfa 13 / 14

14 11. To consider high level of transportation cost in exporting to increase competitiveness power of exporters. 12. To avoid the complications and unfair attitude and incentives to the investors investing in industrial area and investing in outside industrial area. III what must YAGA do? It is clear that a convenient investment climate and an effective incentive schemes system are important factors to attract investments. In addition to this, participants emphasized that shortening the necessary time for getting licences and other related paper work is also very important for the investors. With this respect they suggested that YAGA should work on the following items to assist and attract investors: 1. To assist local investors to reach external markets 2. To ensure that necessary sectoral physical and legal infrastructure is enacted. 3. To inspire confidence to investors and community and carry its work under this context. 4. To direct investors sectoral and regional basis consistent with investment strategy support and supervise incentives in this direction. 5. To make road shows inland and abroad and to make a strategic preparation to accomplish these events. 6. To make studies to understand why foreign investors have to decide on the TRNC to invest. Initiate to increase attractiveness of countries. Be visible, transparent and remove uncertainty. 7. To make all bureaucratic follow ups as One Stop Agency as YAGA. 8. To implement flexible, pragmatic and realistic policy. 9. To contribute to the switching from the environment full of unfair competition and confrontational to a environment that succeed effective cooperation and as seen in the developed countries create demonstration effect for the establishment of independent bodies in the country. Sayfa 14 / 14

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