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Bahitbek Katen

President, Aristan Group

Turkish businesses entered the Kazakhstani market 20 years ago. Now, Turkey is a completely different and very powerful player in the EMEA region. Turkey’s experience will be very useful in the countries of the CIS; Turkey is geographically close to the region and we share a mutual culture and history, which contributes to our cooperation. There is already a trade agreement between our countries, and Turkey is developing new technology and products for new and existing export markets. I firmly believe that the trend of importing technology from Turkey will continue. There is no reason why this cooperation will not come to fruition. Turkey is experienced with and healthily integrated into Europe. Moreover, the country possesses extensive knowledge of the CIS region and the Middle East. Its experience over the past 25 years has made the Turkey a good integrator in the retail and construction sectors. The activity of Turkish construction and engineering companies in Kazakhstan’s real estate and construction sector is a good example of blending Western technology with the Turkish mentality.

HAKAN KODAL

President & CEO, Krea Real Estate

To date, there has been approximately $36 billion worth of investment in the shopping center industry. One-third of that was sourced from international investors, while the remaining two-thirds was from domestic investors. That is different from examples you see in Eastern Europe, where the majority of the investments come from international investors. Our circumstances are a result of the significant capital owned by Turkish entrepreneurs. Furthermore, there have been shopping centers built by Turkish entrepreneurs in surrounding countries. Currently, there are over 25 shopping centers owned by Turkish investors abroad. The first one was built in China. This huge wealth balances FDI; however, there is still interest coming from international investors. In the coming year, we will probably see $2 billion or $3 billion in FDI. Every year, I would expect between $1 billion or $2 billion in investment. I believe that we can expect $10 billion worth of investment over the next five years.

ÖMER FARUK ÇELİK

CEO, ÖMER FARUK ÇELİK

Turkey has recorded very serious and significant progress in the construction sector over the last 40 years. With the international expansion policy during the 1980s, Turkish contractors were awarded important, mega-construction projects, many of which were carried out abroad. Considering this process, the strong aspects of the sector could be listed as a world-class equipment pool, experienced technical personnel, technological knowledge, the ability to create alternative projects addressing different income groups, the added value of being domestic, extensive overseas work experience, increased real estate demand in parallel with the growing economy, and intense entrepreneurship. Although Sinpaş GYO was established in 2007, Sinpaş Group is one of the most important real estate companies in Turkey. With its strong corporate structure and economic power, quality of construction and after-sales services, concept projects that facilitate urban life, and the company’s public and auditable nature, Sinpaş GYO has become one of the most sought-after real estate companies in Turkey.

CİĞDEM HİTAY

Chairperson, Sotheby’s International Realty Turkey

In Turkey, sellers generally assume that by working with more than one agent, they can sell their property more quickly. For high-value properties, we believe that it’s much more effective to market and sell the property under a brand like Sotheby’s, because we offer security and exclusivity. However, this presents a challenge in terms of marketing because we then sign a special agreement with the client that requires us to withhold their name. There is a large difference between the way realty is carried out in the US and how businesses operate in Turkey, so we had to adapt under the Sotheby’s brand and follow a new strategy to conduct our activities in Turkey. In the various US markets, there are set commission rates for real estate. When property owners buy or sell houses, they are required to pay a fixed rate to the agent that represents the seller versus the representative of the buyer, and this rate usually fluctuates between 2.5% and 3%. We work with 3% commission rates. Currently, there is high demand from customers in the Middle East, mainly due to the new reciprocity law being discussed.

Andrew O’Brooks

Managing Director, Volvo Trucks

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