The barometer of the industry
We have recorded a surprise growth of 8.8 percent in the second quarter of the year.
We have become second after China.
According to the Industry Minister Nihat Ergün who was evaluating the surprise growth, this growth was not an uncalculated one; it was originating from the private sector.
There is another indicator that demonstrates that the industry is on the right track: The fast growth of the packaging sector.
The person I met with the other morning, was the CEO of Turkey’s biggest fair company TÜYAP. Serdar Yalçın defines the Packaging Fair that will start this week as the barometer that measures the development of the industry.
The fair that had started 17 years ago covering an area of 500 square meters is now covering 50,000 square meters and is the biggest fair in the Eurasia geography.
“The fact that the packaging fair has a 20 percent growth each year, also the fact that it grows at a much higher rate than Turkey’s average, show the level our industry has reached,” Yalçın said.
The fair where white goods meet food and cosmetics meet medicine has an international participation rate of 7 percent.
Even though Serdar Yalçın defines the “Packaging Fair” as the barometer of the industry, for me, the real indicator is the distance Turkey has covered in the area of fairs.
Because there are currently 160 fair organization companies in Turkey and the sector is constantly developing.
New vision for the SMEs
Among TÜYAP’s nearly 10,000 customers, the fact that 70 percent of them is SMEs, or small and medium-sized enterprises, is the other side of the medallion.
TÜYAP, with its fairs organized in various cities in Anatolia, provides an opportunity for SMEs first to open up to Istanbul then to the world.
“It is possible to observe the development in Anatolia through fairs. The SMEs who gain self-confidence in local fairs open up to the world,” said Yalçın.
According to the TÜYAP CEO, while fair organization is flourishing and developing in Turkey, this sector is shrinking in Europe.
Among the reasons for this are factors such as Europe’s withdrawing from heavy industry and its population gradually decreasing.
It is thought-provoking where Europe is today considering the international fairs of incredible glamour in Paris and London where Ottoman sultans visited in the 19th century.
As Serdar Yalçın has pointed out, I also think that it is a significant clue about the new economic power centers of the world that fair organization in Europe will shrink about 30 to 40 percent in the next 10 years.
Surrounding population of 500 million
Yalçın said about this, “There is a population of 500 million surrounding us. Total populations of only Turkey, Iran and Russia are nearly 350 million. In a way, we are organizing fairs that also take into account surrounding countries. Turkey has an important geographic position for Asians who want to pass over to Eurasia. Also Europeans consider here as a stepping stone to the Middle East and Asia.”
Back to the packaging business, also an indicator of urbanization, Turkey’s per capita packaging consumption is around $80.
In Europe, this figure is $450.
That means there is a long distance for Turkey to cover in the field of packaging.
Whereas, packaging, in my eyes, is an environment contaminating material, one that is thrown away after taking whatever was inside it.
For this reason, I am not going to rejoice over the increase of per capita packaging consumption in Turkey.
Packaging is a welcoming issue in terms of showing the development of the industry; a thorny issue in terms of its negative effect on the environment and global warming that changes our lifestyles.
Like many other things, it accommodates both the good and the bad