Local aluminum exporters eye new markets with growing investments

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 07.09.2017 01:59

With $2 billion in export volume, the Turkish aluminum industry has a wide span of influence on the global market, including major developed European countries. Amid aims to increase its production capacity, Turkey's exporters are eyeing new markets in North America, the Middle East, Africa and the Turkic Republics.

Turkish Aluminum Industrialists' Association (TALSAD) and Kibar Holding Chairman Ali Kibar noted that the domestic aluminum industry saw a 7 percent increase last year, adding that the sector has managed to rehabilitate itself since 2015 with a stable export volume of $2 billion, speaking at a press conference in Istanbul. Kibar also noted that aluminum exporters are looking for new export destinations in North Korea, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia as the sector, which has managed to rehabilitate itself since 2015 with investments that are compliant with Industry 4.0 developments, also aims to expand its trade volume with new investments.

Assan Aluminum, one of the largest aluminum manufacturing facilities and conglomerates in Turkey, is planning to accomplish another major investment in the sector, according to the chairman of Kibar Holding.

Drawing attention to the fact that Turkish companies and conglomerates have started to see a record number of turnovers in the second quarter of the year, Kibar said that such figures have proven effective in making new investment decisions. As he informed, the Turkish conglomerate is planning to open an entirely new aluminum manufacturing facility next year in Karasu, a district in Sakarya province, regarded as Turkey's industrial hub.

When asked about the impact of the recent row with Germany on aluminum exports to that country, Chairman Kibar noted that Germany is an important country for Turkey in terms of aluminum exports, adding that Turkey supplies aluminum machinery, equipment and raw materials to Germany, proving the interdependency of Turkish-German economic ties. "The business world is trying to position itself so that it will be exempt from the political strife [we have seen]," Kibar said, pointing to tenders contracted to German companies in Turkey such as the recent wind power project to be realized by Siemens and its Turkish partners. He also announced that a German company which has huge investments in Turkey is expected to hold its international board meeting in Istanbul.

Chairman Kibar also recalled that Dutch, Belgian and German companies showed some hesitation after the July 15 coup attempt and were inclined to reduce the amount of imports from Turkey. He noted that a Turkish delegation, including himself, paid a visit to these companies and held meetings that were focused primarily on politics. The outcome emerged quite positively, as these companies decided to increase the amount of goods imported from Turkey. This incident, Kibar emphasized, proves that regardless of the repercussions of political tensions on business, the world of business manages to remain sangfroid, which proves the need for a effective business diplomacy in times of such rifts.

Meanwhile, the 5th International Aluminum Technologies, Machinery and Products Trade Fair will be held on Oct. 5-7 at the Istanbul Fair Center. A total of 156 foreign firms will participate in the fair while 158 local aluminum manufacturers will display their products. Moreover, the fair is expected to welcome around 11,000 visitors from 77 countries.

The Turkish aluminum sector employs around 280,000 people and annual exports are around $2 billion, while imports are recorded at $2.5 billion. Used in a wide range of sectors including construction, energy, aerospace, transportation, packaging and home appliances, the material is almost entirely recoverable and sustainable.

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