Aselsan in Bursa for Sustained Collaborations

Issue 88 - January 2019

In order to give support to Turkey’s campaign initiated for the indigenization and nationalization in the defence industry, the Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO) brought together the representatives of the business world of Bursa with Aselsan, one of the leading companies in the defence industry.

The BTSO continues to gather the main companies of the defence industry with the firms of Bursa in order to increase the share of production, business and employment of Bursa based firms , in the domestic and national defence industry. Indigenization Days held at BUTEKOM (Bursa Technology Coordination and R&D Center) was organized in cooperation with Aselsan. During the meeting, held with the contributions of the Bursa Aerospace and Defense Cluster, Bursa firms received information on Aselsan’s products and subindustry activities and came to the table with Aselsan officials during bilateral business negotiations.

BTSO Board Member KOÇASLAN: “We have many capable firms”

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event organized within the scope of the activities of the Bursa Aerospace and Defense Cluster, BTSO Board Member Muhsin KOÇASLAN said that Bursa has important production experience in strategic sectors such as automotive, machinery, textile and chemistry. Mentioning that Bursa has many capable firms to contribute to Turkey’s domestic and national production goals, KOÇASLAN said, “We, as Bursa, are assertive about being active players of all projects that will contribute to our defence industry. Our event will enable our firms to benefit from the cooperation opportunities with Aselsan, which constitutes the backbone of our defence industry, and to take part in national production more.”

Aselsan Chairman of the Board and CEO Prof. Haluk GÖRGÜN: “Defense Expenditures almost attained US$ 2 trillion”

Stating that the world’s defence expenditures reached the level of US$ 1 trillion 730 billion, Aselsan Chairman of the Board and CEO Prof. Haluk GÖRGÜN said: “About 40 percent of these expenditures are recorded as personnel expenses, 23 percent are equipment and 35 percent are current expenditures. Turkey is ranked 15th in the world with a share of approximately US$ 18.2 billion.” Noting that Turkey’s defence and aerospace turnover is US$ 6 billion GÖRGÜN said, “The total defence export of our country is US$ 2 billion. In recent years, we observe that our country has made significant progress in the sector thanks to the will of our President Mr. Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN.” 

Prof. GÖRGÜN: “The development of the sector depends on trained and qualified manpower”

Prof. GÖRGÜN expressed that the continuation of the development of the defence industry depends on trained and qualified manpower and added: “Currently, the number of qualified people working in the sector is around 35 thousand. Unless we increase this number to 400-500 thousand, it is not possible to go further in the defence industry as a country. It is our responsibility to ensure this progress.” 

Providing information about the activities performed by Aselsan last year, Prof. Haluk GÖRGÜN stated that they cooperated with 770 SMEs in the projects executed and added that they want to increase this number even more. GÖRGÜN: “65 percent of our business was realized with companies located in Ankara. This should not be limited to Ankara. There are very important production centers in our country, especially Bursa being in the first place. Having increased its share of industry by more than 45 percent and having reached US$ 4 per kg in exports we see that Bursa is not effective enough in the development of our defence industry. We came to Bursa with a very large team of senior executives. We aim to enable Bursa to contribute more to our defence industry by organizing this event.”

Prof. GÖRGÜN: “Bursa Industry Produces Many Products We Need”

GÖRGÜN stated that with the Indigenization and Nationalization Board they have established in Aselsan, they have made a list of products that can be indigenized and he invited the industrialists of Bursa to contribute to these projects. Expressing that the Bursa industrialists are familiar with many of the products produced for the defence industry, GÖRGÜN said, “Bursa industry is producing many products that we are in need of for different industries. Therefore, it should not remain distant from the defence industry. At the moment, the export value of Aselsan per kg is US$ 600. If our companies move their production to areas such as space, aerospace and defence, it will be beneficial for both Bursa and our country.” 

Bursa Aerospace and Defense Cluster President and BUTEKOM General Manager Mustafa HATİPOĞLU: “There is a Transition to Sectors with High Added Value in the Industry”

Bursa Aerospace and Defense Cluster President and BUTEKOM General Manager Mustafa HATİPOĞLU stated that they aim to carry Bursa to a position having a say in the sectors creating high added value such as space, defence, aerospace and rail systems. Stating that they have taken important steps to this end with the UR-GE and cluster projects they initiated in the related sectors HATİPOĞLU said, “Currently, 75 companies are performing activities in our cluster. Most of our members are seeking investments in aerospace and defence. Our companies have experience in both automotive and machinery sectors, therefore it is easier to adapt themselves to strategic sectors. In addition, with the Supplier Day Events that we organize, we support indigenization efforts by bringing our companies together with our main defence industry corporations such as Aselsan, Roketsan, Havelsan and Turkish Aerospace. With these meetings, many of our companies had the opportunity to participate in national projects. As BASDEC, we want our sector to undertake significant collaborations in the medium and long term with the new meetings that we will organize in the coming period.” Mustafa HATİPOĞLU also made a presentation about cluster activities and projects carried out by the BTSO.

After the opening speeches, Aselsan Supply Chain Management Director Murat Aslan made a presentation about Aselsan’s activity fields. Thereafter, the bilateral business negotiations started and over 70 companies from Bursa participated in the bilateral business meetings hosted by BUTEKOM.