Number of Iranian-funded companies keeps climbing, TOBB says

May 18, 2012, Friday/ 18:18:00

The number of Iranian-funded foreign companies in Turkey rose for the fourth consecutive month this year, the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commody Exchanges (TOBB) has announced.

According to a report issued by TOBB on Friday concerning the statistics of companies that were established and closed in Turkey in April 2012, 19 percent of the foreign companies that were established in Turkey in April were Iranian-funded foreign companies.

The report states that 58 companies with foreign partners -- out of the 310 companies that were established in Turkey in April 2012 -- are Iranian-funded foreign companies. The report also points out that in just the first quarter of 2012, 345 Iranian-funded foreign companies were established in Turkey. The next two on the list of the foreign companies that established business in Turkey are Germans with 124 and the Russians with 66 firms.

According to the registry list for companies provided by the İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO), more than half of the Iranian-funded companies in Turkey -- 1,200 to be exact -- were located in İstanbul, the largest city in Turkey, as of 2011. This corresponds to 25 percent of all foreign companies based in İstanbul. With regards to operation fields, the majority of Iranian firms in Turkey are in electricity, electronics, communications and construction.

TOBB has previously announced that foreign companies financed by Iran in 2011 totaled 590, an increase of 41 percent compared to the previous year. That puts Iran on the top of the chart of new foreign companies established in 2011 not only in nominal numbers but percentage-wise as well. As of Dec. 31, 2011, the number of companies funded by Iran totaled 2,140, with a quarter having launched operations in the last year alone.

TOBB also reported for January 2012 that Iran topped the list for a month with 63 new companies, all limited company types with the exception of one. This is not commensurate with the level of current trade volume Iran maintains with Turkey. As of last year, the trade volume amounted to $16 billion, mostly from Iranian natural gas and oil proceeds.

Turkey imports some 30 percent of its oil needs from Iran, or 200,000 barrels per day, which represents over 7 percent of Iranian oil exports. Iran also meets one-third of Turkey’s natural gas demand as well. In contrast, Germany, Turkey’s largest commercial partner with $37 billion in non-energy trade, had only 36 companies established in January 2012. “It is obvious that some of these companies were established to procure goods and merchandise for the Iranian economy in clear violation of the sanctions.

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