Accounting for between a quarter and a third of GDP, Turkey’s industrial sector is a global player in areas as diverse as automotive, ready-to-wear, chemicals and retail. A major source of Europe’s industrial imports – as well as a destination for the continent’s exports – Turkey also carried out significant trade in industrial goods with the Middle East, Central Asia and beyond. Despite the global financial crisis that struck in 2008, the contribution of industry’s value added to GDP in the republic managed to surpass that in the euro area in 2010. The next decade will likely see a continuation of the ongoing gradual shift in export markets away from Europe and toward Asia and Africa. At the same time, increased spending on R&D and efforts to meet the goals set for 2023 will be vital if the country is to produce higher-value-added goods, and thus keep ahead of its lower-cost Asian and African rivals.
This chapter contains interviews with Mehmet Büyükekşı, Chairman, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly; Ahmet Zorlu, Chairman, Zorlu Holding; Norbert Klein, CEO for Turkey, Middle East, North Africa, Bosch Siemens Home Appliances; and Mehmet Nane, President, Shopping Centres and Retailers Association.