Special zones to support local businesess, attract foreigners
By creating tax-free customs-free zones, we will turn a new page,’ says Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan (C).Turkey will boost both foreign investments and support local business thanks to a renewed look at special economic zones, according to Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan.
The Economy Ministry and the Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) hosted the Towards 2023 Special Economic Zones Working Group yesterday in the southern Turkish province of Gaziantep to discuss the future of “special economic zones.”
In particular, the working group focused on how these zones would provide incentives to attract foreign investment.
“By creating tax-free customs-free zones, we will turn a new page in attracting both foreign investors and facilitating local investors to become more competitive,” said Çağlayan at the workshop.
Safe havens for investors
Turkey was one of the leading safe havens in terms of investment, Çağlayan said, and if Turkey were successful in creating these special economic zones, the country could make huge economic strides.
“The goal of special economic zones is to rehabilitate the free zones with a more ambitious mission,” Mehmet Özmen, TOBB official responsible for special economic zones, said in his speech at the event.
Urging the minister to examine both the direct and indirect effectives of their new incentive law on the free zones, Özmen said the seven-year history of the free zones had not been a success as the free zones had lost their popularity since 2004.
The special economic zones would be a propelling force for Turkey’s economy and would quickly remedy Turkey’s foreign trade imbalances if they were properly structured, Özmen said, echoing the economy minister.
Fatma Şahin, the family and social policies minister, was also present at the workshop.