Turkey expects contracting projects abroad over $15B

Trade Minister Pekcan: “Since 1972 Turkish contracting sector realized over 10,500 projects worth $418.7B in 128 different countries.”

Turkey this year expects the value of its contracting projects abroad to top $15 billion, despite the pandemic, the trade minister Ruhsar Pekcan said at a meeting organized by Turkish Contractors Association.

“The project value of work undertaken by Turkish contracting companies [abroad] in 2020 reached $14.4 billion,” Ruhsar Pekcan said.

Since 1972, when data collection began, Turkey’s contracting sector has carried out over 10,500 projects in 128 different countries worth $418.7 billion, Pekcan noted.

The value of work done abroad by Turkish contractors in the three decades from 1972 to 2002 totaled some $50 billion, while since 2002 – under the rule of the Justice and Development (AK) Party – the figure topped $369 billion, the minister stressed.

“The Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, and North Africa became our traditional markets. In total, the projects done by Turkish firms in these regions made up 84.4% of all our projects,” she added.

Reaching $4.6 billion, last year the largest share of projects was done in the Russian Federation, Pekcan said, followed by Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Senegal, the US, Mozambique, and the UK.

The figure despite the pandemic was a success for the sector, Pekcan said, as 2020 saw the largest commercial contraction since World War II.

Saying that the Turkish technical consultancy sector abroad reached $140 million in 2020, Pekcan stressed that the sector is expected to top $150 million this year.

Mithat Yenigun, the head of the Turkish Contractors Association, said the aim for 2021 is to reach $20 billion, previously the target for 2020.

“Our medium-term target for the years to come will be to undertake new work worth $50 billion a year. If we take the necessary steps, we can also increase the number of Turkish jobs abroad to 100,000, after it fell to 35,000,” he said.

The success of Turkish contracting industry might be attributed to Turkey’s competitive advantages; including its qualified human resource, enhanced technical knowledge, wide business experience, strong discipline, ability of adaptation to new technologies and innovations alongside its strong political relations and cultural proximity to the neighboring countries, and its determination to sustain coordination and cooperation between public institutions and private sector.