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SAHA Istanbul Cluster Holds “Current Incentives Information Meeting” for Members

The SAHA Istanbul Defense and Aerospace Clustering Association conducts activities encouraging industrialists to take an active role in Turkey’s nationalization movement. The “Current Incentives Information Meeting” was recently held and incentives for companies wishing to execute production in the defense industry were presented

Building a cornerstone in the Marmara region in Turkey’s nationalization movement, the SAHA Istanbul Defense and Aerospace Clustering Association organized a meeting that presented the incentives provided for defense industry production and the relative implemented certifications.

Representatives of 153 companies attended the meeting.  Vice President of SAHA Mr. Bülent Şener underlined the fact that SAHA Istanbul is the greatest cluster in Turkey with its 260 members.

Mr. Bülent Şener: “We are exerting efforts to render our country independent”

Mr. Şener: “What we mainly try to achieve is eliminating the foreign dependency that our Turkish Armed Forces and civil aviation has and rendering our country independent through developing companies to manufacture spare parts, sub systems and systems for the land, air and naval platforms. However, most of the time our companies’ infrastructures fail to suffice in developing unique products for defense systems and therefore they need to make additional investments. Even though they have the required technological infrastructure and know-how, SME-level companies with relatively weaker financial means must be supported to develop unique products for the defense industry and civil aviation. If we avail this support in two types, they will be effective in reaching the expected outcomes. This support is composed of R&D and investment support and demand support. Demand support is as crucial as other types of support, perhaps even more crucial. The government’s and foundation company’s domestic product procurement are essential toward achieving this. Besides, supporting our companies in reaching foreign markets is of vital essence.”

KOSGEB’s Support for Nationalization  

In her presentation at the meeting, East Marmara Abigem Business Development Expert, Aydolu Elif Yıldırım, informed the participants on the “SME Technological Product Investment Program” and the “Strategic Product Support Program”.  Ms.Yıldırım discussed the non-refundable support of 70% granted to micro businesses and 60% non-repayable support to medium and small sized businesses.  She also added that throughout the project, support is provided to companies through machinery, equipment, software support and support provided for staff, training, consultancy, rent and operational costs. 

Ms. Yıldırım expressed that “domestic production of intermediate goods with high import dependency” within the framework of the “Technological Transformation Policy in Industry” as part of the Strategic Product Support Program is being supported.  She informed the audience regarding the following details: “The maximum limit of support to be granted within the scope of the program is 5,000,000 TL and the percentage of the program’s non-refundable support is 70%. In line with the Strategic Product Support Program, support for machinery, equipment, software, personnel expenses, information transfer support, test - analysis, calibration and reference material and service procurement are being given to the companies.”

Noting that the hydraulic parts of the New Generation Trainer Aircraft Hürkuş Project designed by TAI were manufactured by SAHA Istanbul members, Mr.  Rıza Kıvanç from TAI’s Procurement Department said, “We have been conducting activities concerning the products we have difficulty procuring abroad.”

Mr. Ümit Ünal: “The products to be manufactured should be innovative, unique and green”

Addressing the SAHA members, Istanbul Provincial Director of the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology Ümit Ünal, noted that the industrialists should be manufacturing products with high added value that could be utilized by the defense industry as well. Stating that “The products you will be manufacturing should be innovative, unique and green”, Mr. Ünal underlined the gap between the import and export figures. “If we purchase a product and sell it with a very high added value after enriching it with technology and software, then the import and export figures will become closer to each other. The incentives emerge automatically if we take a look at the products with high import levels and direct our efforts towards them.”

Stating that the products that could close the gap between the import and export figures as part of the Strategic Product Support Program are the incentives encouraging the manufacturing of local and national products, Mr.  Ünal continued, “We would like you to know that we are excited about your enthusiasm as well. We are at the service of our industrialists. The importance we attach to our industry is equal to the importance we attach to our nation’s heroes currently struggling in Afrin, in the East and Middle East at Turkey’s border or beyond Turkey’s border for the continuity of our state. If we manage to render our production and product achievable without dependencies then it means that we are exerting efforts for our future. I believe that our industrialists in Istanbul will put forth great products.”

Mr.  İlhami Keleş: “We endeavor to elevate the companies to AS9100 quality standard”

Secretary General of SAHA Istanbul, Mr.  İlhami Keleş, stated that the SAHA member companies have been executing 2 UR-GE (Supporting the Development of International Competitiveness) projects toward acquiring the AS9100 which is the international standard for the aerospace industry in respect of quality and risk management. Stating that the AS9100 certification process of companies are included in the support granted by the Ministry of Economy.  Mr. Keleş continued, “AS9100 is a qualification level that may increase the manufacturing level of our companies to worldwide standards yet unfortunately we have very few companies with the AS9100 qualification level. There are a few companies that may join us in the international arena and we need to increase this figure. This is not only a reason to manufacture products, but it is also intended to build an institutional infrastructure required to sustain the companies throughout future generations. The Ministry of Economy provides 75% support to UR-GE projects and I advise you to benefit from this opportunity.”

During his speech, Mr. Keleş mentioned the SAHA EXPO Fair to be held for the first time on 13 – 15 September 2018 by SAHA Istanbul and invited the members of SAHA Istanbul to the event.