Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan noted that increased investments in the Turkish shipbuilding industry have allowed it to gain remarkable momentum over the last 15 years with an annual turnover of $2.5 billion.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the MV Jambo Ferryboat at the Özata Shipyard in Yalova, Minister Arslan said, "The number of shipyards has risen from 35 to 79. We have 585 locations for boat production, with the capacity to produce 700,000 tons of steel every year and build 4.5 million deadweight tons of ships."
Arslan emphasized that Turkey has made notable progress in the shipping industry over the last 15 years, with the sector's yearly turnover now reaching $2.5 billion.
He added that Turkey's shipping industry is one of the major sectors experiencing growth in the country.
"Shipping extends well beyond the shipbuilding sector. Moreover, while the international shipping industry has been in serious crisis since 2008, our country's sector has continued to grow, making progress and creating new jobs. We're talking about $2.5 billion which includes exports, maintenance, upkeep, domestic production, subsidiary industries and the boat recycling industry," he said.
However, Arslan added that there are plans for much greater employment growth in the industry.
"The number of shipyards in the country has risen from between 35 and 36 to 79; however, due to the global crisis, the sector has not shown growth above our expectations. The direct employment in this area is 17,000 alone. If the subsidiary and secondary employment is included the number is much higher. So, we create 30,000 jobs with the shipyards and 90,000 when you include subsidiary industries. That means a source of income for 500,000 people," he said. A large increase in exports is also keeping the industry afloat, Arslan explained, saying, "In one year, exports have risen from $500 million to $1 billion. That's a very important step."