Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

We must develop all fields of maritime trade in a coordinated manner

20.01.2015 / Ankara

Speaking at the TOBB Chambers of Maritime Trade Council Meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the maritime transportation and ship construction sectors are the pride of Turkey in global competition with their successes.​

TOBB Chambers of Maritime Trade Council Meeting was held at the TOBB Union Center hosted by TOBB president Hisarcıklıoğlu and the attendance of the Minister for Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Lütfi Elvan.


In his opening speech, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the maritime sector is one of Turkey’s star sectors. Reporting that the ship construction sector has become a brand in its own right globally, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they’ve reached a point where they are able to produce any ship.


Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Prior to 2003, our shipyards were confined to a single region. With the right incentives, it has spread to all of our shores from Hopa to İskenderun. We are aiming for 500 billion USD exports with over a trillion USD in foreign trade volume by 2023. Then, it is imperative that we further develop our ship construction industry, maritime transportation and shipyards.


We must develop all fields of maritime trade in a coordinated manner. Because it is not only EU members, but our main competitor is China, Korea, Brazil, India and Russia; they’ve developed direct or indirect incetives.


We are the largest economy, industrial goods supplier and we stand on trade routes between Italy and China. However the Netherlands, which has a comparable economic size and only 1/15 of our shoreline, conducts more loading and off-loading than we do.


Our maritime trade fleet is comprised of 10 million tons of Turkish flagged and 32 million tons of Turkish owned ships.


57 billion USD of our foreign trade volume of 407 billion USD is transported via maritime means. The freight cost for that is 12 billion USD. Only 12% of that is carried by the Turkish fleet. That is why there is an 8 billion USD deficit from maritime transportation each year.


These figures, carried over to 2023, the share of maritime transportation in the transportation of foreign trade goods will have reached 65-70%. Considering that the foreign trade volume will reach 1.2 trillion USD, the amount of deficit produced by maritime transportation, assuming current ratios carry over, will have reached 30 billion USD. We must make preparations accordingly and strengthen our fleet.”


Stating that 80% of our shipyards are geared towards maintenance, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that the remaining 5% constructs military ships while 15% constructs civilian ships, “The money saved by the construction of just one military ship is 300,000,000 Euros. The way to develop our fleet is to first strengthen our shipyards.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu also pointed out the need to increase the number and mooring capacities of marinas. The TOBB President stated that Turkey needs to develop a maritime and port establishment which can address its own needs as well as those of its neighbors and region.


Hisarcıklıoğlu went on to assess the global economic situation, stating that 2015 is a year in which the global economy will need to tread carefully, adding that the recent drop in petroleum prices bring with it mostly positive effects but that the window of opportunity needs to be better utilized.


- Minister for Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Lütfi Elvan


Minister for Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Lütfi Elvan stated that they will be assessing the current state of Turkey’s maritime trade, its problems and solution suggestions. Stating that they will focus on modernizing the fleet once the relevant legislative changes are enacted, Elvan provided information on incentives provided for various projects.

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