High-tech firms at shutdown point in Turkey 

A new law in Turkey is set to bring a setback to high technology manufacturers as the law wants exporters to deposit 80 percent of the export amount into a Turkish bank.

Professor Bilgin Kaftanoglu from Atilim University said: “The new regulation will cause big losses for Turkey and the law needs to be amended for the continuity of the high tech productions in the country.”

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) released the January 2019 foreign trade data showing the share of manufacturing industry products in total exports recorded 93.4 percent. Exports of high-tech products in the manufacturing industry products remained at 3 percent, while imports increased 5 times to 15.2 percent.

The Ministry of Finance and Treasury’s notification published in the Official Gazette last September that 80 percent of the export amount has to be deposited into Turkish banks for the next six months but the new rule has extended that to six more months.

“The Industry 4.0 revolution began in 2011. This revolution includes automation, robots, and computer-controlled looms. Therefore, we should use this technology in our country. Our industrialists generally import the necessary looms from abroad. This import makes our industry dependent on foreign sources.

“We obviously cannot manufacture all this technology, but at least we are able to make some of it in Turkey. Our companies that produce these machine tools have remained behind in this technology race and most of them are closed down,” said Professor Kaftanoglu during an interview with Turkish Demiroren News Agency (DHA).

This was in the Eurasian region’s leading industrial fair WIN EURASIA.

Kaftanoglu who is a Professor at the Manufacturing Industry explained the importance of university-industry cooperation that academics are specialized in their field and can do these technology designs, manufacture and export if the Turkish government support universities in Turkey as many states support universities in Europe and the Far East.

Professor Kaftanoglu, who represented the Atilim University at WIN EURASIA complained about that The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) doesn’t support enough the universities.

“The most important resource in this high tech manufacturing area is TUBİTAK sources but getting funds from TUBITAK is very limited and takes very long. The time of acceptance of a project exceeds almost one year. Shortening this period and support mechanisms are needed,” Professor Kaftanoglu added.

He further underlined there is limited technology production at universities and the industry also needs it. “The government must facilitate the universities and the industries come together. The government must consult us on the national policy – the development plans, strategic and high-tech projects need to be given space and support.”

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