Economic Snapshot

Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts


  • 9th major European city regarding business friendliness
  • USD 257 Billion GDP in 2017
  • USD 17k GDP per capita in 2017
  • Istanbul’s economy is larger than approximately 130 countries
  • Turkey is the top improver of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business

Rapid GDP Growth

Rapid GDP Growth

Istanbul is enjoying a strong economic performance and a highly favorable business climate. The city is a dynamic economic engine of growth, with a diversified structure and international recognition. Istanbul has maintained its strong position internationally, in addition to boasting a recognized city brand.

As such, Istanbul is a major global city for business and FDI, proved by the fact that it has been selected as the Top Southern European City of the Future, according to the European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 Report by fDi Magazine. Moreover, the same report selects Istanbul as the 9th best city regarding business friendliness in the whole European continent.

According to the “Doing Business 2019–Training for Reforms” report, last year’s reforms accelerated Turkey’s efforts to improve the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises.

Turkey ranked 43rd in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list for 2019, climbing 17 places compared to the previous year. This has made Turkey the top improver in the world. This, added to the country’s strong economic growth rate, has propelled Istanbul higher in the rankings of several reports.

A Model of Success
A Model Of Success

The Turkish economy has undergone a profound economic transformation recently. Owing to the appropriate policy implementation aimed at solving the structural problems of the economy, the negative impact of the global financial crisis on Turkey, and so on Istanbul, has been very limited.

As a growing city with a strong history of economic performance and significant infrastructure investment, Istanbul is Turkey’s locomotive. Valued US$257 billion of GDP Istanbul’s economy accounts for approx. 40% of Turkey’s economy. Istanbul’s GDP, therefore, surpasses that of about 25 European countries such as Romania, Hungary, Croatia, and Luxembourg.

As the Turkish economy grows with historic records, Istanbul acts as the engine of growth, having a US$17.1 k GDP per capita, which is well above the national average. Compared to the 2001 level, GDP per capita in Istanbul has increased more than fivefold. The foreign trade volume is approx. US$206 billion, were 75 k companies are dealing with international trade in Istanbul.

Booming Economy Tightly Knit

Turkey – Economic Forecast Summary (May 2018)


The global financial crisis of the late 2000s precipitated an economic downturn of such magnitude and reach that many now refer to the period as the “Great Recession”. According to the International Monetary Fund, global economic output, which had grown at an annual rate of 3.2% from 1993 to 2007, actually shrank by 2% from 2008 to 2009. Aggregate views of the global economy, however, mask the distinct experiences of its real hubs – major metropolitan areas.

Metro areas, which are economically integrated collections of cities, suburbs, and often surrounding rural areas, are centers of high-value economic activity in their respective nations and worldwide. As the business and financial capital of Turkey, Istanbul’s higher labor productivity (gross value added (GVA) per employee), which equaled USD38k in 2016, boosts the average disposable income per household, according to Euromonitor International. 

Affordable Living Standards

Affordable Living Standards

For their cities to stand out and attract businesses and the investments they bring, city leaders need a clear understanding of the specific factors that affect the quality of living for their residents. Addressing the issues that may lower a city’s quality of living and highlighting where it succeeds can provide a sustainable competitive advantage.

Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, one of the world’s most comprehensive, is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. The survey covers 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

Governments and major companies use data from this survey to protect the purchasing power of their employees when transferred abroad and to assess local expatriate housing allowances. Istanbul is ranked 163rd city in the cost of living survey, which means an affordable urban life awaits you at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.




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