Turkish economy minister backtracks on phone tax comments
REUTERS photoAfter saying additional import taxes on electronic goods, mainly mobile phones, would be imposed, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci backtracked on Aug. 17.
“There won’t be any additional customs duties or compensatory taxes on tablets and mobile phones,” Reuters quoted Zeybekci as saying during a speech at the Turkey-Iraq Business Forum meeting in Istanbul.
Last month he said the government would put additional import taxes on electronic goods in the coming days. The number of mobile phone sales shot up by 10 percent immediately after the announcement, reaching 1.1 million in the month.
Before his Aug. 17 backtrack, Zeybekci had also said in an interview with daily Milliyet that the new tax on imported mobile phones was intended to “drive [local] production” and customers should not expect a general price hike.
“We asked [companies]: ‘Why don’t you start producing in Turkey?’ We want all components, including the added value, workmanship, and technology stages, to be completed in Turkey,” he said.
“But this doesn’t imply that we aim to create a domestic cell phone brand from scratch. Whether it be Apple or others, we would like these brands to continue their manufacturing in Turkey. Once we achieve this, the technology can be transferred to Turkey, slowly building from assembly-line work toward more complex processes, which will gradually form a technological framework,” Zeybekci told Milliyet.