The innovation of Turkish overseas logistics centers will ensure the rapid flow of exports and products to international supply chains at a low cost, thus supporting sustainable export growth, a Turkish expert said Wednesday.
"Logistics centers will also help us boost our capabilities in e-commerce abroad," Turgut Erkeskin, the chairperson of the Foreign Economic Relations Board's (DEIK) Logistics Business Council, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Erkeskin said the centers will enhance Turkey's export performance in strategic regions such as Africa, the Americas, Europe, Russia and East Asia.
Citing a decree by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this October on government support for logistics centers, he noted that the country's Trade Ministry will support some of the expenses for five years.
"We target the countries where our exports have deep growth potential," Erkeskin said, stressing that they would first open in countries lacking a large logistics infrastructure.
Africa certainly stands out, he said. "Our first focus will be countries such as Ghana and Nigeria, where there are major bottlenecks in logistics infrastructure despite their great market potential."
"Since they have a habit and taste for Turkish goods, we can achieve permanent export improvement here," Erkeskin added.
Cost advantage in Europe, U.S., China
Countries with developed logistics systems, like the U.S., the U.K., Germany and China, are also included in the initiative, Erkeskin said, adding that Turkey could gain a competitive edge via incentives provided by those states and from the efforts of special commodity groups.
"If we obtain a cost advantage in those countries and boost our competitiveness, we'll continue to work to ensure that our small and medium-sized entrepreneurs benefit from the incentive," he said.
Logistics centers will create timing advantages for deadlines, especially for e-commerce, in addition to their cost advantages, Erkeskin said. "They will also enhance customer satisfaction thanks to fast delivery."
Following supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the logistics centers will help Turkish exporters eliminate such future hurdles, he maintained.
"Even if countries implement lockdown measures, we'll have the ability to use our presence and export potential in those countries," Erkeskin stressed. "This is a very important function."
Belt and Road Initiative
For countries with less-developed logistics infrastructure within China's Belt and Road Initiative, Turkey will be providing its exporters with numerous opportunities, he added.
The Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious development program to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors with the aim of improving regional integration, boosting trade and stimulating economic growth.
Underlining that these countries' investment environment and legal infrastructure is also very important, Erkeskin said, "We also want to receive invitations from those countries, such as investment incentives."
Erkeskin said tangible steps toward opening the logistics centers will be taken in the third quarter of 2021, providing areas for storage, loading and unloading, handling, shipment and cargo unification and division services.