Turkish companies have turned Belgrade into a base for easier access to the European market. Medium and large sized companies from different sectors have reduced logistics time and costs this way. While companies have invested a total of $100 million in Serbia, they are aiming to increase their capacity in the coming period, a report in Turkish Dünya daily said yesterday.
The number of Turkish companies investing in Serbia's capital Belgrade for easier access to the European market increases daily. Some 10 companies from textile and 10 companies from medium-to-large end of the automotive sector have reportedly invested in the city. The total Turkish investment has reached $100 million. Many companies that are attracted to incentives are also preparing for new investments. Turkish companies are aiming to get closer to the European market through Serbia's capital Belgrade. For companies that want to reduce their logistics costs and time and increase their capacity, Serbia's favorable incentive system, high training power and lower minimum wage increase the attractiveness.
According to the information provided by Turkey's Ambassador to Belgrade Tanju Bilgiç, Turkey has invested around $100 million in the region. Stating that Serbia has given incentives to investors, Bilgiç said it is a center of attraction for Turks with easy access. Noting that they provide employment for 15,000 Serbians here, Bilgiç said there are four or five Turkish companies that have not begun construction yet. "In textiles, there are about 10 large firms. A factory will soon be opened, providing employment for 1,000 people. Serbia and Turkey's images are mutually evolving in positive directions," he added.With regard to the interest of Turkish companies in Serbia, Istanbul Apparel and Apparel Exporters Association (İHKİB) Chairman Hikmet Tanrıverdi said the incentive system and low minimum wage cause Turkish companies to prefer Belgrade.
Tanrıverdi said in Serbia, a Turkish company employs 600 people in the automotive sector as well as well-known medium and large-scale companies in the textile sector. Stating that Serbia has implemented two different incentives for investors, Tanrıverdi said they have received more than 30 percent of the investment they made in the country with attractive employment incentives in cash upon the completion of the investment. Tanrıverdi said due to taxes on imported raw materials, costs are very high in Turkey, stressing that Serbia offers major incentives for a 5-million-euro investment.
İrfan Özhamaratlı, vice chairman of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI), said Turkish companies have invested in Serbia to be close to the European market, noting that he sees the presence of Turkish companies in Serbia as a breakthrough with the intent of strengthening. "Turkish companies do not intend to stay there. Investments are being made to increase additional capacity," he said. "Being in Serbia means moving fast and conducting flexible and low-capacity production. The terms are also suitable for investing there." Özhamaratlı reported that a textile company is about to finish its new investment in Serbia. "Certain companies have adopted the clustering system. Until training is provided in Serbia, some companies are recruiting workers from Turkey. What matters is the workforce. By supplying the raw and auxiliary materials from Turkey, the companies will expand their capacity," he continued.