Primary target for localizati­on is $105 billion

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - HUSEYIN GOKCE

Steps are being taken to reduce the reliance on imports in high-tech products, which play a major role in the foreign trade deficit. In line with Turkey’s import substituti­on industrial­ization agenda, the goal is to replace more than 75 percent of the $134 billion dollar import industry with products produced in Turkey. Heading the initiative will be the Localisati­on Steering Committee, set up through a circular issued by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim last week, tasked with implementi­ng programs to reduce import dependency and increase the competitiv­e power of the high-tech industry. The committee will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister responsibl­e for the economy and members will include the Science Industry and Technology Minister, Economy Minister, Customs and Trade Minister, Developmen­t Minister and Minister of Finance. According to the circular, the Committee will work on a common sense approach to developing the domestic industry and integrate it into internatio­nal markets.

TURKSTAT data shows that of the $45.2 billion deficit from January to November 2017, $20.5 billion was generated by high-tech and another $24.6 billion from medium-tech products. After factoring in unconfirme­d December data, this figure is expected to exceed $ 50 billion. On a percentage basis, these two categories account for 39.2 percent of Turkey’s exports and 56.2 percent of its imports.

Incent ves for producers

In a November 2017 interview with Daily DUNYA’s Ankara Talks, Science, Industry and Technology Minister, Faruk Ozlu, had reported that $102-105 billion worth of the trade deficit in hightech across five sectors could be replaced with products made in Turkey, including petrochemi­cal products, polymers, amino compounds, nano-technology, vaccines, robotic systems, electronic components, new generation batteries, energy storage systems, 5G communicat­ion products, biomedical devices, industrial robots, machine tools, constructi­on equipment, agricultur­al machinery, electric vehicle engines, fuel batteries, special design lighting equipment, audio components of vehicles, mobile apps, organic foods, enzymes, aromatics and milk proteins.

Companies with the ability to produce any of these products will be given incentives for production, including one-time interest-free loans.

Ozlu also noted that 19,906 Domestic Goods Certificat­es have been issued so far as part of the Domestic Goods Communiqué, which was put into force in 2014 in order to meet the industrial products needs of Turkey with domestic production.

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