ECONOMY

2015 11 27

Turkish investment agency promotes auto industry

Only 36 percent of Turkish people currently own a vehicle, this indicates an important growth opportunity in the automotive industry in the coming years, experts say.

At the 9th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders conference in Barcelona on Thursday, investment agencies from the Mediterranean promoted the incentives offered in their respective countries for investors in the automotive industry. 

The automotive industry in the Mediterranean region offers the opportunity for growth in a market of 400 million inhabitants, according to a panel of experts at the 1st Mediterranean Automotive Summit which took place at the conference. 

Experts noted that the industry is emerging as one of the main locomotive sectors for economic development in the Mediterranean region.

The leading automotive companies are investing in countries like Turkey, Morocco and Algeria, which offer opportunities for growth due to the rapid expansion of domestic demand.

Turkey is a recognized hub of excellence for vehicle manufacturers with 1.1 million vehicles produced in 2014, of which 75 percent are exported, said Yasemen Korukcu, the country advisor of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey. 

Korukcu said that only 36 percent of households currently own a vehicle in Turkey. 

"This indicates an important growth opportunity for the industry in the coming years. Foreign investors are focusing on this sector in line with increasing purchasing power in Turkey," she said. 

According to Korukcu, Europe is the main destination in Turkish automotive foreign trade. The automotive sector was the single largest contributor to overseas sales in 2014, generating $22.3 billion in exports, a 4.5 percent increase on the previous year. 

"Since the early 1990s, our government started to give incentives to promote foreign investment in the manufacturing of new, current model vehicles," Korukcu said. 

She said that Turkey made easier importing of technology and foreign capital partnerships and supported it during the period. There are already 256 companies working in the sector in Turkey, all financed by foreign capital, she said.

The Turkish automotive industry is now among the 17 countries which are able to produce more than 1 million vehicles per year, according to the International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association.

In terms of motor vehicle production, Turkey is the 16th-biggest producer in the world and the fifth-largest manufacturer in Europe.

Turkey manufactured 667,592 cars in the first six months of 2015, an increase of 18.4 percent from 2014, while global vehicle production rose 0.5 percent in the same period compared with the previous year.

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