Kocaeli, an industrial port city in northwestern Turkey, has managed to increase its exports and sell nearly $10 billion worth of goods in the January-June period of the current year.
With this recent surge, the city that hosts a significant portion of the Turkish manufacturing industry continues to strongly contribute to Turkey's export target of $182 billion for 2019.
With its convenient location for doing business with European markets as the largest port in Turkey and the eighth largest in Europe in handling volume, Kocaeli offers significant logistic advantages in terms of storage, highway, rail, sea and airway access.
The automotive sector holds a key position in the exports of the city, which is home to several carmakers such as Ford Otosan, Hyundai Assan, Honda Turkey and Anadolu Isuzu, as well as the tire, cloth, steel, plastic, rubber and paint industries.
Another significant contributing factor is that it is the home of the Automotive Sub-Industry Specialized Organized Industrial Zone (TOSB).
EXPORTS TO 180 COUNTRIES
According to information compiled from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the city's exports, which stood at $9 billion in the same eight-month period in 2018, increased by 10% in the same period this year to some $10 billion.
The second largest industrial city after Istanbul in the export league, met 9.2% of Turkey's overall exports alone. In this period, the city made shipments to 180 countries and regions and became the province that shipped to the most points after Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara.
From January to August, overall Turkish exports rose 3% year-on-year, hitting $117.3 billion, according to official figures. Imports amounted to $137 billion in the same period, an annual rise of 17%.
As a result, Turkey's foreign trade balance saw significant improvement, shrinking 61% year-on-year during the same period.
AUTOMOTIVE, CHEMICALS LOCOMOTIVE OF EXPORTS
The companies operating in the automotive and chemical sectors held 75.3% of the city's exports, which corresponds to $7.5 billion.
The automotive sector took the lead in the exports of the city, which houses Ford Otosan, Hyundai Assan, Honda Turkey and Anadolu Isuzu's manufacturing facilities. In the said period, Kocaeli's automotive exports amounted to $4.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the chemical sector came second in exports in the city that hosts Turkey's largest industrial enterprise, the Tüpraş's İzmit Refinery, which has an annual crude oil processing capacity of 11 million tons, and the Fuel Oil Conversion Plant, where 4.5 million tons of black products are processed annually, as well as large and small mineral oil and paint facilities.
Chemical and chemical product exports increased by 42% over the first eight months of the previous year, reaching $3.1 billion.
On the other hand, the ferrous and non-ferrous metals sector ranked third with $518 million, followed by steel with $504.7 million, electrical and electronics with $379.2 million, and the air conditioning industry with $330.3 million.
U.K. TOP MARKET FOR KOCAELİ'S EXPORTS
In the January-August period, the United Kingdom led the way in the city's exports with $916.6 million.
The Netherlands, which saw a 122% increase compared to the previous period, came second with $877.6 million.
Germany, the locomotive of the European Union, became the third country that Kocaeli exported the most to during this period. Exports to the country increased by 7% to $801.6 million.
Spain ranked fourth with $774.3 million, followed by Slovenia with $614.4 million and Italy with $545.5 million.