In Germany, we have been quite successful in our efforts of providing global telecommunications for special target groups; however, this is not sufficient for us. To continuously better recognize the needs and wishes of our customers, we are expanding our efforts at reaching an international level. In addition, branches and stores in other European cities can intensify the understanding of social, cultural, and religious backgrounds of our target groups. The latest example of this commitment is our planned representative office in Istanbul, Turkey.
The decision to choose Istanbul was not difficult. For years, Turkey has recorded solid economic growth and growing investments. For example, the gross domestic product (GDP) of Turkey has more than tripled from US$231 billion in 2002 to more than US$800 billion in 2014. This means an average annual increase in the GDP of almost 5%. With these figures, which are connected with foreign investment of approximately US$150 billion in the past decade, Turkey’s economy is now ranked sixth within the EU. On a global scale, Turkey ranks at number 16.
The outlook for the coming years is quite promising for companies and investors. The GDP has been forecast to have continual growth of between 3 and 4% annually over the next years. In turn, this growth renders our partner country as the fastest growing economy of all 34 OECD countries. Approximately 6,000 companies from Germany have recognized this aspect and expanded their activities to Turkey. Thereby, SIMWERT also has a decisive advantage as a close partnership presently exists between Turkey and Germany. We are now able to react flexibly to market analysis, place new products on the market at short-term, and also timely pave the way for new partners.
Expansion of our international business unit also to local branches was therefore rather a logical decision. Our previous commitment and the experience gained with Turkish immigrants, resettlers, and refugees have provided us with a significant competitive advantage. We would gladly like to invite potential industrial and commercial partners to accompany us on the path ahead, as the unique connection between ethnic marketing and vibrant telecommunications is economically and humanly very rewarding.