European countries want to share Turkish contractor's success in Africa

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 31.01.2019 00:07

Turkish contractors, which went through a fruitful 2018 despite geopolitical risks and trade tensions, plan on reaching $350 billion in their overseas contracting projects in the next 10 years.

Many European countries are now closely following the success of the Turkish contractors who have undertaken various overseas projects in 123 countries.

According to Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) data, the new objective of contractors that have undertaken 9,600 projects worth of nearly $380 billion in 123 countries abroad since they opened abroad in Libya in 1972 is to take on the 10,000th project with 10,000 Turkish workers, according to a report in the Sabah newspaper.

TMB Chairman Mithat Yenigün said they have been closely monitoring potential markets such as sub-Saharan Africa, India, the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region and Latin America for a while, stressing many European countries are coming up with co-operation proposals to get a share of the success of Turkish contractors in Africa.

Taking on giant projects abroad, the contractors have reached $250 billion in overseas projects in the last decade.

Overseas projects carried out by Turkish contractors reached $19.4 billion last year, corresponding to an increase of 28.2 percent year-on-year. Contracting companies undertook some 261 overseas projects in 2018. Eurasia accounted for 46 percent of the business volume in 2018, followed by the Middle East with 26 percent, Africa with 18 percent, Europe with 6 percent, South Asia and the Far East with 3.2 percent, and the American countries with 0.6 percent, while the top markets preferred by the sector last year were Russia with $3.9 billion, Saudi Arabia with $3 billion and Qatar with $2 billion.

Noting the international contracting market is projected to rise from around $500 billion to $750 billion in the 2030s, Yenigün recalled the annual project amount undertaken abroad climbed to $30 billion in the 2012-2015 period.

"In the 2016-2017 period, this figure dropped to $14 billion due to geopolitical problems, the decline in oil prices and the crisis with Russia. Despite all the challenges, we are pleased to reach a business volume of $19.4 billion with an increase of nearly 30 percent last year," Yenigün said, adding that they aim to create a "Turkish Contracting" brand as a leader in its region under the leadership of TMB by 2023. "We aim to reach $35 billion in overseas projects year-on-year. In the 2030s, our goal is to increase the share we receive from the international market to 7 percent, meaning $50 billion per year," he noted.

Meanwhile, Turkey was named second only to China in the number of contractors in the Top 250 Global Contractors List for 2017, prepared by the Engineering News Record (ENR).

ENR, an international construction industry magazine, prepares the list based on the companies' income through overseas activities. A total of 46 Turkish companies were named in the 2017 list.

While the market share of Turkish companies stood at 3.8 percent in 2013, it reached 4.3 percent, 4.6 percent and 5.5 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. It was at 4.8 percent in 2017.

Further in his speech, Yenigün said that the debt issue in Libya is ongoing, explaining that the total amount of unfinished projects of Turkish firms comes to $19 billion, while non-collected accrued receivables stand at $1 billion, the collateral amount at $1.7 billion and other losses stand at about $1.3 billion. "Recently, some of our companies are being invited for new projects to be implemented," he continued. "A joint committee was established between the two countries. In the coming days, a delegation of ministers from Libya will visit Turkey."

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