Turkish constructors’ activities abroad slow dramatically in first quarter: Association
REUTERS photoTurkish construction companies suffered a severe drop in the amount of work they undertook overseas in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2015, according to a leading sector representative.
“Our companies took a total of 28 projects worth $2.78 billion in the first three months of 2015, but they were able to undertake just eight projects worth $1 billion in the same period of this year due to ongoing problems in neighboring countries. A number of measures need to be taken immediately in line with a comprehensive action plan,” said the deputy head of the Construction Materials Industrialists Association (İMSAD), Oktay Alptekin, Reuters reported June 16.
He noted that there has been a visible slowdown in the volume of infrastructure and construction projects in neighboring regions due to the rise in political problems and the oil slump.
“Our sector’s exports continue to decline amid these problems. Turkey’s construction material exports dropped to $3.76 billion in the first quarter, a 15.6 percent loss from the same period of 2015. Our exports already declined to $17 billion in 2015 from around $21 billion in 2014. We expect a lower figure this year,” added Alptekin at a press meeting in Istanbul to review developments in the sector and to announce projections.
Alptekin said the domestic market’s growth rates had fueled hope in the sector as the construction sector grew 6.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, higher than the country average at 4.8 percent.
“While Turkey’s GDP grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, the construction sector saw a 6.6 percent of growth. Some of the delayed projects have been accelerated over this year. We saw a 32 percent increase in the number of construction permits. This gives us hope for the future,” Alptekin.
The association upgraded its domestic market growth forecast to 3-3.5 percent in its latest assessment report from 2.5-3 percent in the previous report.
According to İMSAD data, the construction materials sector’s domestic market volume was $44.5 billion at the end of 2015 with an additional volume of $17 billion in the foreign markets, totaling $61.5 billion.
The sector’s share in Turkey’s total exports is around 11.8 percent.