Turkey turns face to Iran, Saudi, Russia
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
TÜSİAD’s Ümit Boyner (L) is seen with Industry Minister Ergün at an İzmir meeting. AA photoTurkey needs closer ties with energy-rich Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut its high amount of inputs in the chemicals industry and further inform them about the country’s investment environment, Industry Minister Nihat Ergün said yesterday at a meeting organized by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD) in İzmir.
The government will establish special chemical industry zones and increase the number of techno-parks in chemical-focused cities, he said at the meeting where he revealed the “Strategy Document and Action Plan for the Chemicals Industry,” according to Anatolia news agency.
In her speech at the event, TÜSİAD Chairwoman Ümit Boyner praised the comprehensive works the ministries of industry and economy have created in conjunction with the private sector to increase the added value and restore the chemicals industry to a more efficient structure.
The meeting came after relations between TÜSİAD and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan turned tense when Boyner called for more transparency in the government on Sept. 15. Boyner asked for transparency regarding incidents such as a recent explosion that killed 25 soldiers at a military depot in the western province of Afyonkarahisar and a botched air raid that killed 34 civilians in Uludere last year. Erdoğan told Boyner to “mind her own business.”
Boyner said the chemicals industry is crucial as it covers some 6 percent of the country’s manufacturing. The exports volume of the chemicals industry was $13 billion last year, overtaking the automotive industry, she said, adding that the figure was only $2.2 billion in 2000.
However, the industry registered a high trade deficit of $25 billion and imports 70 percent of the raw materials it utilizes, she said. The industry alone makes up 23 percent of the $106 billion foreign trade deficit, she said.
Ergün said the strategy document for the period between 2013 and 2016 aims to elevate the Turkish chemicals industry to a higher level in the world and in the industry, with higher added value, environmentally friendly and health conscious products and processes.