Swedish Via Con to manage 50 countries from Turkey

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - KERIM ULKER

Turkey continues to be the regional base for internatio­nal companies because of the opportunit­ies it creates as well its geography. From Coca-Cola to UPS, Citi to LG, many global giants are deciding to make Turkey their regional base of operations. Swedish Via Con, one of the world’s three largest steel culvert and bridge producers, is now about to join these companies.

With manufactur­ing operations in nearly 10 countries around the world, the company is planning to manage 50 countries from Turkey. Via Con Turkey General Manager, Onur Basar, said that as of January 2019, Turkey will become a center for their MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region.

Turkish companies are involved in some of their biggest projects abroad, he added, stating that they now operate in the Sub-Saharan region in Africa. “We produced all of the culverts and bridges in the Yapi Merkezi railway project in Ethiopia in Turkey,” Basar said. “We are also involved

in Yapi Merkezi’s railway project in Tanzania. We have over $20 million invested in the project in Ethiopia and over $10 million in Tanzania.”

From Turkey, a far reach

Basar stated that they entered the Turkish market in 2014 and Turkey became the second largest production center for Via Con in 4 years. Currently, the largest Via Con factory is located in Poland.

“Our goal for 2023 is to become Via Con’s largest facility. Via Con MENA is the the largest Via Con facility in terms of geography and population. Turkey has more investment potential in countries such as Iran, Iraq and Syria compared to Western countries. With its low cost raw materials and geographic­al location, Turkey is seen as an important country for investment.”

Via Con Turkey has been ex- porting for three years, mainly to African countries in which Turkish contractor­s are active. Başar said that they have exported 80 percent of their production since the end of 2014 to nearly 20 countries, mainly Romania and Ethiopia.

“Via Con’s total exports are around $30 million,” Basar said. “The majority of these exports are made from Turkey. Via Con’s original purpose for coming here was to establish a presence in a strong country like Turkey. Over time, we realized that our reach does not only consist of Turkey’s constructi­on sector. Turkey’s influence in countries to its East and West is quite big. We are currently working on new projects in the Middle East, the Gulf, African countries and Iran. We see considerab­le potential in these markets along with Turkey’s power. We invested in machinery to produce high-span steel bridge products in 2018. Thus, we aim to increase our success in both Turkey and export markets by expanding our product range.”

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