Turkey will establish five mega industrial zones across the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Sunday.
"We are building mega industrial zones in five different regions across the country. It will upgrade Turkey's industry and technology sector and create 100,000 jobs," the president said on his official social media account.
The president also attached an image titled "National Industrial Leap," explaining the details of the project.
It highlighted that the planned zones will enable Turkey to make a leap in industrial production. The president added that the legal work for the industrial zones has already been completed.
The probable locations for the project included Trabzon Investment Island in the Black Sea region, Karasu Exclusive Investment Zone in southern Marmara, Filyos Industrial Zone in the western Black Sea region, Ceyhan Energy-Specialized Industrial Zone in the eastern Mediterranean and another industrial center in the Aegean region.
These industrial zones will initially attract an investment of TL 45 billion ($9.5 billion) and create 35,000 jobs. The figures will gradually go up to TL 140 billion and 100,000 jobs.
Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü said that these mega-industrial zones would be key for Turkey if it wants to become a large-scale economy.
Turkey, he said, will realize the concept of mega industrial zones that go beyond the design of organized industrial zones.
Minister Özlü said that the Turkish economy will make the true leap thanks to the mega industrial zones, where it will accommodate large foreign and local investments on high-technology and mid-high technology products.
The ministry will meet the expenditures for the survey, planning and project design, expropriation, bridge, viaduct, drilling, de-watering, sea embankment, electricity and natural gas infrastructure, potable water infrastructure, sewage system, communication systems, road networks and wastewater treatment facilities.
Özlü said that his ministry has approved the map and geological survey reports, construction and parcel plans as well as infrastructure and superstructure projects for the industrial zones. He noted that the ministry will also issue the licenses and permits for business operations in the zones.
He said that the bureaucratic procedures will also be eased and streamlined. The investments that acquired incentive certificates will receive tax benefits and social security premiums.
The lands owned by the Turkish Treasury will be leased out for 49 years, the minister added. All buildings in the industrial zones will be exempted from real estate tax and businesses will be relieved off license and permit expenditures.
The industrial zones administration will follow similar professional examples in China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.
"The zones will be managed by firms in the form of incorporations where local and foreign investors operating in these zones along with entities and corporations, associations, foundations, chambers and banks may have shares," Özlü said.
Talking about potential activities in industrial zones, Özlü said refineries and thermal power plant investments will be carried out at the Ceyhan Energy Specialized Industrial Zone, which is an important area for the energy sector for its proximity to the Middle East oil and natural gas reserves and international energy pipelines.
Large petrochemical and refineries are planned to be established in the Ceyhan Energy-Special Industrial Zone. Ceyhan has a significant place in the Turkish and global energy industry as it carries Iraqi oil from Kirkuk for export. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude pipeline also transports oil produced in the Caspian Region, especially Azeri oil, from Azerbaijan to Ceyhan Marine Terminal through Georgia.
"Electrical equipment, machinery equipment, high and medium high-tech sectors will be based in Filyos Industrial Zone. The area has Turkey's largest port, thus it has the potential to become a logistics base for domestic and international investors," the minister noted.
He added that the defense industry, rail systems, and commercial vehicles will be operating out of the Karasu Exclusive Investment Zone, the largest defense and automotive production center in the country.
"As for the Trabzon Investment Island, Turkey's first industrial zone built on reclaimed land, it will house high-tech sectors like defense systems, aerospace, aviation, biotechnology, nanotechnology and information technology," he said.
In 2016, the Council of Ministers decided to allocate an individual investment area in Karasu, Sakarya. An area has already been allocated there to local automotive giant BMC.