Milliyet – Japanese tire maker Sumitomo Rubber Industries is set to invest USD 500 million in a manufacturing plant in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Cankiri in partnership with Abdülkadir Ozcan A.S. The third largest tire producer of Japan plans to export 90 percent of the tires produced in Turkey to the Middle East, North Africa and Russia where it foresees a growing demand.
The deal signed between Sumitomo Rubber Industries CEO, Ikuji Ikeda and Abdülkadir Ozcan A.S. Chairman Mustafa Ozcan in attendance of Turkey’s Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan, and the President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) Ilker Ayci, comes as Japanese automotive manufacturers in Turkey, namely Toyota and Honda, announce and capacity increases and new model additions to their Turkish plants. The Sumitomo plant, slated to be operational by 2015, will manufacture 10 million tires per annum and create employment for 2000 people.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Caglayan drew attention to Turkey’s new investment incentive scheme and said that Sumitomo will get the most out of the benefits provided by the new scheme as the company is investing in an organized industrial zone (OIZ) in Cankiri. Incentive instruments in the new system are enumerated by region (1-6) with the higher numbers indicating a higher level of support. Although being a Region 5 province, an investment in Cankiri is entitled to have Region 6 level support if it is located in an OIZ.
“Turkey and Japan are working towards beginning talks for a free trade agreement…” Caglayan said, pointing to increased Japanese investments in Turkey.
ISPAT President Ilker Ayci, for his part, said that the deal had been in the works for some 20 months and Sumitomo’s selection of Turkey for its first European plant proves Turkey’s emergence as an investment hub for Japanese companies as witnessed in recent months. Turkey will be the strategic supply base of Sumitomo for reaching the emerging markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Russia.
Over 10 Japan-based multinational companies have set up shop in Turkey since the beginning of the year, including Mizuho Corporate Bank and The Bank of Tokyo, both with the assistance of the ISPAT.