Milliyet - Sumitomo Rubber’s tire factory in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Cankiri has been officially inaugurated by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The USD 520 million plant, realized in partnership with Abdülkadir Ozcan A.S (AKO), will manufacture 10 million tires per year, primarily for export markets.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Erdogan said that Japanese investments into Turkey has been increasing, reaching USD 1.6 billion in the last five years. “Turkey provides all the support and assistance necessary to international investors. The Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) has been instrumental in this investment project right from the outset”, Erdogan remarked, adding that Japanese firms were part of seven merger and acquisition operations in the country during the first nine months of the year, an important indicator of Japanese investor interest in Turkey.
Drawing attention to Turkey’s successful performance in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), even when there was a drop in global FDI traffic, Erdogan said that investor interest in the country was still unwavering. “Despite a 16 percent decrease in global FDI volume, Turkey managed to attract USD 13.5 billion in 2014 with an increase of 1 percent. In last July alone, Turkey received USD 3.5 billion in FDI, a clear sign of our country’s safe haven status for international investors”, he stated.
“We have high expectations from our Japanese friends. Turkey should have a share of at least 1 percent from Japan’s outgoing investments, corresponding to USD 1 billion a year,” the President said. Referring to his official visit to Japan past week, Erdogan said that he attended an ISPAT-organized investment seminar in Tokyo to address the executives of over 500 Japanese multinationals and held one-to-meetings with the CEOs of five of the leading Japanese corporations to discuss their projects in Turkey.
Assisted by ISPAT at every stage of the investment process, once fully operational Sumitomo Rubber AKO plant will employ 2,000 people and is expected to export 80 percent of its products, consisting of radial passenger and light truck tires, to the Middle East, North Africa, and Russia. The plant will also supply tires to the Japanese auto manufacturers, Toyota and Honda, for their production operations in Turkey.
Over 200 Japanese companies are currently active in Turkey.