Turkish Investors entering the German Market
Paul Forst is Head of Tax at Warth & Klein Grant Thornton in Germany and the force behind their Turkish Desk, together with his team. Paul is a Certified Public Auditor and a Certified Tax Advisor. He advises corporate clients for more than 25 years in international tax law, reorganisations and M&A projects.
Interview with Paul Forst – Head of Tax and Leader of the Turkish Desk at Warth & Klein Grant Thornton in Germany
- Paul, what are your observations about Turkish investors in Germany?
In recent years, Turkish companies became much more export-oriented and increasingly opened up foreign markets, not only Germany. The Turkish community in Germany is very big, but also in general the country is a significant market for Turkish products. We also observe a positive development beyond imports from Turkey: A growing number of Turkish companies is currently entering Germany and other international markets by investing locally.
- What are the differences between Turkish investors and those from other countries?
The main difference is the entrepreneurial spirit of Turkish investors entering the German market. In addition, personal contacts play a key role for them more than for investors from other countries and of course, certain intercultural differences and the understanding of them are very important.
- What difficulties do especially Turkish investors face in Germany?
Quite frequently, there is a misjudgment abroad about Turkish companies and their products. Germans often underestimate their quality and the abilities of Turkish entrepreneurs. At the end of the day, customers are very often positively surprised about high-grade products as well as about innovative entrepreneurial concepts.
- How do you assist Turkish investors?
We set up a Turkish Desk to assist Turkish investors in their language and with an understanding of their culture. Today we rely on a team of about thirty Turkish-speaking experts in Dusseldorf alone, and we do have native speaking experts in all of our ten locations in Germany. The Turkish Desk of Warth & Klein Grant Thornton is addressing investors from Turkey to support them by our services and, if requested also assisting them in Turkish language. We provide our services with a ‘hands on’ attitude. Furthermore, we work closely with Grant Thornton Turkey to ensure that all aspects of cross-border activities are considered.
The range of our activities is very broad – we are providing services like outsourcing of accounting and payroll, tax compliance and consulting as well as audit and M&A support. We do not only provide routine services – our focus is rather advising our clients personally and to navigate them through the complexity of growing their business. Our intention is to offer an “all-round carefree package” for Turkish investors. Therefore, we also support networking platforms for our clients, e.g. to enable meetings with interesting contacts valuable for their businesses.
- Could you give us a forecast for 2019 please?
For some time, we are receiving more enquiries from Turkish investors regarding M&A transactions and also a lot of queries in connection with the establishment of new companies in Germany. Based on our observations and the information our cooperation partners like the chambers of commerce share with us, we believe that in 2019 Turkish investors will become increasingly active in Germany. We are looking forward to assist them concerning any issues they are facing