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Ankara Chamber of Industry 55th Anniversary Award Ceremony

The Ankara Chamber of Industry 55th Anniversary Award Ceremony was held at the ASO 1st OSB Conference Hall with the participation of Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK. Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Hasan BÜYÜKDEDE, Gazi University Rector Prof. Dr. İbrahim USLAN, Deputy Governor of Ankara Recep ERKILIÇ, Managing Director of Industrial Zones Ramazan YILDIRIM, ASO Board of Directors, Assembly and Committee Members, ASO 1st OSB Chairman of the Board Niyazi AKDAŞ and board members, industrialists, bureaucrats, mayors and many guests attended the ceremony hosted by the Ankara Chamber of Industry (ASO) President of Board of Directors Nurettin ÖZDEBİR and ASO President of Assembly Celal KOLOĞLU.

Taking the floor at the ceremony ASO President of Board of Directors Nurettin ÖZDEBİR said: “The recent trade and exchange wars have revealed that the greatest strength of countries is production.” Underlining that Ankara has a special place in achieving the economic development goals of Turkey with its industrial infrastructure, entrepreneurial potential, and qualified workforce, ÖZDEBİR stated that Ankara played a critical role in achieving Turkey’s foreign trade goals with its exports to over 200 countries by the end of last year. ÖZDEBİR said: “As ASO, we have worked hard for the mental transformation of our industrialists. Today, Ankara has realized 14% of the high technology patent/utility model applications. Ankara hosts 15% of R&D producers, 13% of high technology production, 28% of R&D engineers, and 20% of high technology investments.”

ÖZDEBİR: “The greatest strength of countries is production”

Indicating that Ankara has a distinct production culture, understanding, and vision with nearly 4 thousand exporters, ÖZDEBİR expressed that with high and medium-high technologies comprising 40% of their production, industrialists in Ankara are an example to the whole country with these visions. Emphasizing that the economic contraction in Turkey is also felt on a global scale, ÖZDEBİR stated that there is a decline in both international trade and global industrial production. ÖZDEBİR also noted that the Purchasing Managers’ Index fell in Germany and China and continued: “Domestic demand and production volumes of countries are shrinking. Despite this, with 82 million young, dynamic, and enthusiastic population, our country will be able to overcome these days in an effortless manner, given that we live in unity and solidarity. The recent trade and exchange wars have revealed that the greatest weapon of countries is production. In this period, where production processes expanded on a global scale, we are now aware of the importance of R&D.”

ÖZDEBİR emphasized that a sustainable economic growth phenomenon will come true thanks to the opportunities provided by technological innovation and R&D.  He stated that the world is currently going through a 4th Industrial Revolution with artificial intelligence, robotic technologies and the internet of things.

Nurettin ÖZDEBİR stated that every stage of the production chain has been digitized and there is a paradigm shift in the industry with intelligent production systems: “This process unequivocally changes all balances and the entire business ecosystem. In this process, the traditional manufacturing industry is being replaced by production systems integrated with information technologies. It is now a necessity for our industrialist to be fully prepared.”

Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK: “Ankara 1st Organized Industrial Zone will grow by 10 million square meters”

In his speech, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK said: “We believe in our industrialists and work with all our strength to solve the problems they face and implement their innovative ideas.” VARANK also stated that the awards given in the fields of R&D and entrepreneurship are meaningful to show ASO’s awareness on the issue.

Highlighting the fact that 30 of the 55 companies that received awards benefit from the incentives of the ministry, VARANK said: “We provided incentives to the fixed capital investments  worth TL8 Billion for these companies and created additional employment opportunities for 7 thousand people.”

VARANK stated that currently, 26 companies receive KOSGEB support and 29 businesses benefit from various advantages with their R&D Center Certificates given by the ministry: “Eleven companies among us received TL3.5 Million of project support from the Ankara Development Agency. Thus, a 17% increase in 2018 exports and achieving fifth place in Turkey is not a coincidence.”

Emphasizing that the intensive efforts of the industrialists, combined with the support provided by the state, brought a strong industrial infrastructure to Ankara, VARANK stated that there are positive developments regarding the 1st OSB, that it will grow by 10 million square meters and this figure means around 300 new factories and additional employment for 50 thousand people.

VARANK indicated that the expropriation activities will start this year and the necessary investments will be made within the next 2 years.

Addressing the 2018 performance of existing companies, VARANK made the following assessments: “I’ve seen that more than 10 companies spent over TL500 Million on new investments, all of these companies have strong export potential. The 1st OSB is a role model for Turkey regarding the vocational training-employment relationship. 97% of the young students, educated under the Vocational Training Project and Industrial Vocational Training Center, were employed in the first company that they started in as interns.  Considering the fact, that the average employment rate during training is 15% in Turkey, our biggest wish is to spread this spectacular performance of Ankara 1st OSB in vocational training to the whole country.”

Stating that when given appropriate opportunities, young people produce immense results, VARANK shared that educating and preparing our young and dynamic workforce in the best way possible for life will be accomplished with the cooperation of both the public and private sector. VARANK stated that, as the ministry, they place special importance on the policies that will increase employment in the industry for both vocational high school and university graduates and said that the Industrial Doctorate Program brought a new perspective in this context.

VARANK underlined that their aim is to educate and train the qualified workforce needed in the industry with the cooperation of the real sector and academia and then to employ them: “Two weeks ago I was at the signing ceremony of projects that are eligible for support. If our students are employed in the industry after graduation, we will provide salary support ranging from 40 to 60 percent for 3 years. I have high hopes for the participation of our industrialists in this program. Qualified human capital is the most important component of sustainable development.”

Highlighting the fact that we need to manufacture and export high value-added products in order to advance in global competition, VARANK asserted that the “National Technology, Strong Industry” vision is intended for this purpose.  VARANK stated that they aim to reduce import dependency in production while focusing on achieving structural transformation towards high value-added areas: “Our goal is to support all the processes of the product starting from R&D to commercialization and to maximize domestic added value. For this purpose, we are working on a model that takes a holistic approach to all the support provided by our ministry and related institutions. We are also carrying out another study to make arrangements for encouraging the purchase of domestic goods in the public sector.”

Recalling the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey Economic Council meeting, VARANK voiced that numerous industrialists called for the state to support localization through public procurement.

VARANK stated that as the ministry, they embraced this matter and determined the insufficiencies of the current system: “We developed a model that is simpler, more efficient and which takes into account domestic added value. Our ultimate goal is to increase domestic production quality in a competitive manner by spreading the consciousness of domesticity throughout the public and the industry. Thanks to economies of scale to be created by the public, we will protect our domestic productions against cheap imported products, and we will achieve continuity in domestic production.”

VARANK indicated that there is a rapid technological change and transformation process and stated that the necessary steps should be taken by evaluating its risks and opportunities. Explaining that they expect to see productivity and added value increases as a result of learning-by-doing first in Ankara and then in neighboring provinces, VARANK stated that a development process consisting of only a few cities in industrial and technological progress enough is not sufficient enough. Underlining that in order to increase production, innovation and R&D activities, the potential of cities should be utilized in the best way possible, VARANK said: “As we mentioned in our election manifesto, we set a goal for our ‘Unique Cities’ program. We will prepare development models suitable for the geography, climate, human capital, and growth areas of each city, and implement our domestic and national production priority.”

Highlighting the fact that they have taken steps in order to transform OSBs into branding centers with investment appeal and make them operate with full capacity, VARANK said that they made it possible for OSBs to become more investment-friendly production sites by making an amendment to the regulation last week.

VARANK stated that with the new simplified regulation, they aim to guide investors to the industrial parcels and revitalize the OSBs thus they will accelerate the land allocation processes in OSBs and obtain complete information on unallocated parcels.

Emphasizing that they aim to prevent speculative land allocation and sale, VARANK said: “The new regulation will prompt the completion of investments. In the industrial parcels of OSBs, waste-to-energy plants can be established, and administrations will be able to open facilities that produce electricity from solar and wind power. I believe we will witness the concrete results of these changes. We consider creating a stronger industrial infrastructure as our greatest responsibility. We believe in our industrialists and work with all our strength to solve the problems they face and implement their innovative ideas.”

Following his speech, Minister VARANK gave awards to TAI, Türk Traktör, and Dorce Prefabricated companies. ASO President of Board of Directors Mr. Nurettin ÖZDEBİR and ASO President of Assembly Mr. Celal KOLOĞLU also presented a gift to Minister VARANK to commemorate the important meaning of the day.

A total of 55 awards were given at the ceremony. In the defense industry category, TAI was granted the Export and Created Added Value award; Aselsan was granted awards for R&D/Patent, R&D/SANTEZ-TEYDEB, R&D/Domestic Production and Created Added Value awards; ME-GE Teknik was granted R&D/R&D Center awards; CES Advanced Composite & Defence Technologies Inc. was granted R&D/R&D Center awards; Altay Information Technologies, Defence and Industrial Trade Inc. was granted R&D/R&D Center awards; NUMAŞ was granted R&D/Technology Product awards; Akana Engineering was granted R&D/Technology Product awards; Roketsan was granted Created Added Value award; and Seçkin GÜRLER on behalf of Labris Network was granted the Young Entrepreneur award, in addition, ASO “Living Legends of Industry” special awards were also granted to their owners by ÖZDEBİR and KOLOĞLU.