Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi announced in a written statement that the “Regulations on the Establishment and Assignments of Turkey’s Promotional Group” has today been published in the Official Gazette, and has been implemented.
The promotional activities of exports, which have been ongoing with independent strategies, budgets and priorities with 15 different promotional groups for many years, will now be carried out with collaboration, rationality and strategy under one name: Turkey’s Promotional Group (TTG), Zeybekçi said.
Hurdles mar Turkish energy firms eyeing Africa projects
Turkish energy firms remain keen to invest in projects in African countries, but several obstacles, including political instability end up hurting their efforts, investors tell Anadolu Agency.Several firms from Turkey have made investments in the energy sector in South Africa, Sudan, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nigeria. They wish to expand further in other countries, especially in electricity generation and renewable energy fields given that the continent provides ample opportunities to investors in these areas.According to a World Bank report from June 6, 2017, Africa is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to electricity; just 35 percent of the population is estimated to have access to power.One of the most innovative ways Turkey is helping some African countries cope with its electricity shortages is through the use of unique power ships.Karpowership -- a Turkish firm affiliated with the mega Istanbul-based company Karadeniz Holding -- is providing electricity-generating vessels to Ghana and Zambia.With its floating power plant, a Karpowership vessel with a generation capacity of 225 megawatts aims to cover 26 percent of Ghana’s electricity for 10 years.In November 2015, the Turkish firm was also awarded the contract to supply electricity to land-locked Zambia via cross-border interconnection lines through Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The company will initially supply 100 megawatts of power.“The floating power ships are a flexible solution. With an easy movable system, we can connect directly to the country’s network through all the ship equipment without any need for land,” Karpowership Chief Commercial Officer Zeynep Harezi told Anadolu Agency via email.Harezi said the objective of the investments in the continent is “to be a catalyzer in regional cooperation between African countries, to benefit [from] their development and progress, to create employment opportunities and to provide technology transfer and sustainable energy, including renewable”.However, there are some challenges for Turkish firms, including varying state policies throughout Africa, she said.- High costs, political instabilityOne country may have strict regulations while the pricing policies may be more effective in another, Harezi said.She said the Turkish firms like hers seek “to ease the differences” in such situations, where “others might see as difficulties”.Sureyya Yucel Ozden, the head of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK)’s Energy Investment in Africa, also spoke about the weak regulations in some African countries where Turkish energy firms operate.“Regulations are changeable in Africa like everywhere else in the world,” Ozden said.Ozden also mentioned financial difficulties.“High financial costs lead to disappearance of the competition for wind and renewable energy in general in the developing countries,” he added.Yalcin Kiroglu, head of DEIK’s Madagascar Business Council, mentioned political instability. “The constant changes in opinions due to political instability and the most important, the occupancy in state-guaranteed loan capacity regarding the financing” were the main challenges in project implementation in Africa, Kiroglu said.He, however, added that Turkish firms remain optimistic and hope to continue investing in Africa.“We have recently completed a report on 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to shed light on energy potential, including renewable energy in terms of product and service opportunities for Turkish government, investors and the energy sector,” he said.Turkey’s opening to Africa between 2005 and 2011 witnessed efforts towards breaking the ice in their reciprocal knowledge of one another. However, to be able to promote a mutual understanding with African countries, Turkey had to change its own perception -- and of course of the Turkish public -- about Africa and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa.This awareness-raising project about Africa has resulted in a consideration that the continent is not a weak and distant place but rather a place full of potential connections and opportunities. Thus, Turkey established its presence through a number of multilateral projects, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development -- a program of the African Union adopted in 2001 -- with the aim of alleviating poverty and promoting economic growth and sustainable development, as well as joining several security operations, such as NATO’s counter-piracy actions in the Gulf of Aden, off the Horn of Africa.
“Globalization is a concept that leads competition to maximize, as well as converging the world economies. Contrary to belief, global competition is not only among companies. Today, the companies and economies which cannot be backed by its country’s image fail. Therefore, global competition is also important in terms of promotion. The TTG, which we have established to this end, will be an active element that brings all export and manufacturing components together, where the promotional activities will be planned within the framework of rationality.”
EBRD finances Turkish women entrepreneurs
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced Friday that it issued a five-year loan of $55 million to QNB Finansbank to expand its banking services to female entrepreneurs in Turkey.The EBRD said in a statement that the Turkish lender would on-lend the funds to businesses either owned or run by women.Turkish government and the EU will also provide first-loss risk cover, a feature designed to make loans less risky and more affordable, worth up to €4.4 million, the EBRD said."Women-led firms can also receive business advice from local and international experts under the programme, as well as access to training, mentoring, networking and other services to help them develop and improve their competitiveness," read the statement.The bank said that the new loan brought the total EBRD financing for the Women in Business program in Turkey to €300 million."As we see continuous demand for financing and advisory services from women-led businesses, we will spare no effort to ensure that the programme continues," Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD managing director for Turkey, said in the statement.Temel Guzeloglu, CEO of QNB Finansbank, said that the lender had supported 6,170 women entrepreneurs with loans worth of 246 million liras (some $70 million) since 2015 under the program."We will continue to support them with a wide array of solutions that best suit their needs for finance, consultancy and cash management. This new facility from the EBRD will further enhance our abilities in this regard," he added.The Women in Business program aims to equalize success chance of female entrepreneurs, according to the EBRD."It combines credit lines to local financial institutions, to stimulate lending to firms, with business advice for the companies themselves. It also provides training for the financial sector, helping to introduce new practices that best serve a modern, inclusive society," the bank said.The EBRD added that under this program, nearly 14,000 women-led businesses in the country had received loans worth of 650 million Turkish liras (some $184 million) through lenders since 2014.Almost 4,000 female entrepreneurs and managers have benefited from non-financial services to develop their businesses, including advisory support from qualified local consultants and international experts, the bank said.The EBRD has invested close to €9.5 billion in various sectors in Turkish economy, with 97 percent of investments supporting the development of private enterprise, it added.
Zeybekçi pointed out that Turkey will not move on in passive manner that shapes its strategies according to other countries’ patterns, and that they aim to create a new active Turkey which will determine consumption habits, fashion and trends at all stages of manufacture.
“A wind of Turkey will blow across the world in the forthcoming period,” Zeybekçi added.
“We will bring our industries, brands, achievements and ambition into view everywhere, particularly in our cultural geography, thanks to our magnificent and ancient culture, art and values. Supported by a wind of regular and continuous production, and an image which is based on a strategy, our export and the foreign investments, which are expected to increase, will have a pioneering role for the country’s economy, and contribute to the realization of Turkey’s real potential. Our effort is that any consumer from all corners of the world who purchases a product sees the inscription: 'Made in Turkey.'”
Turkish Solar Car Team to join World Solar Challenge
Istanbul Technical University’s (ITU) Solar Car Team, Turkey’s first internationally awarded solar car team prepares to take part in “World Solar Challenge 2017,” which will be held in Australia on Oct. 8-15, with their eighth solar vehicle “B.O.W ISTKA.”Supported by the Ministry of Development and Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA) and designed by ITU’s Solar Car Team, “B.O.W ISTKA” was launched at Istanbul Technical University.The students produced a significant work as a result of an intensive one-and-a-half year study, ITU’s Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Tayfun Kındap said. “Our students join world championships with the vehicles they develop. They are ready to take part in a competition which will be held in Australia with a new generation solar car. We are proud of them.”Prof. Dr. Kındap also expressed his gratitude to the sponsors who supported the development of the solar car.Eight hundred kilometers on a sunny day"B.O.W ISTKA” has been developed more than any other vehicle manufactured in ITU, said Yunus Emre Çiçek, one of the 21 members of the ITU Solar Car Team. He noted that they made progress up to 15 percent in the aerodynamics of the vehicle, and overall have made a 90 percent renovation. New embedded system software, new processors and technology have been used in developing the car, he added. The car can cover a distance of approximately 800 kilometers daily. The World Solar Challenge 2017 which will be held in Australia is a competition which has been organized since 1987, every two years.ITU’s Solar Car Team, has participated twice before, and, is the only Turkish team which will participate in the acclaimed competition.
Turkish Airlines passenger numbers up in Jan-July
The total number of passengers carried by Turkish Airlines rose 4.6 percent between January and July 2017 compared to the same period last year, the airline announced Friday.Turkey's national flag carrier carried 37.5 million passengers in the first seven months of the year, the company said in a statement sent to Turkey's Public Disclosure Platform (KAP).The numbers of passengers carried in domestic and international flights were up 5.6 and 3.8 percent, respectively.The airline said seat occupancy increased by 3.8 percentage points to 77.4 percent in the same period.Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines saw a 24.3 percent hike in the number of passengers carried last month -- 7.2 million -- up from 5.8 million passengers in July 2016.The airline noted that 83.3 percent of the company's passenger carrying capacity was used in July, marking an increase of 10.5 percentage points compared to same month last year.In the KAP statement, the airline also announced that the company earned $4.6 billion total revenue in the first half of 2017.Turkish Airlines flies to 300 destinations in 120 countries, including 251 international and 49 domestic destinations.By the end of July 2017, the company had 331 aircraft, of which 90 were wide-body while the number of narrow-body aircraft and cargo planes were 226 and 15, respectively.Last year, Turkish Airlines carried 62.8 million passengers, up 2.5 percent from 61.2 million passengers in 2015.