Navigating Challenges, Uncovering Prospects: Plastic and Rubber Industry in Turkey
The Impact of the Earthquake Disaster
The Devastating Impact of 2023, Turkey experienced one of the most powerful earthquakes in a century, resulting in the collapse of numerous structures, displacement of thousands of families, tragic injuries, and loss of lives. This catastrophe also struck a severe blow to Turkey's robust economy. Notably, Turkey is a significant global exporter of various crops, with many of the figs, almonds, and raisins that find their way into our daily lives originating here. The affected areas represent nearly 15% of the nation's entire agricultural output. Predictably, the Turkish Enterprise and Business Federation (TURKONFED) anticipates that the aftermath of this natural disaster will inflict even more pronounced harm on Turkey's economic growth, with anticipated losses exceeding a staggering $84 billion.
In fact, the World Bank estimates that the economic toll exacted by the earthquake amounts to $34.2 billion, equivalent to 4% of Turkey's annual GDP. The costs of reconstruction are expected to surge to two or three times beyond the initial $34.2 billion. This confluence of events presents the Turkish government with an arduous challenge as it seeks to balance the imperative of reconstruction with the ongoing pursuit of its centennial program. Achieving harmony between these goals has become a focal point of concern across all sectors.
Confronting Inflation: The Central Bank's Strategy
In 2023, the global landscape saw a widespread trend of increasing interest rates. However, in the wake of a string of disasters, Turkey's central bank chose to maintain its course of reducing interest rates, a policy initiated in 2022, as a deliberate effort to mitigate the extensive economic losses resulting from these crises. A pivotal transformation took place upon the appointment of Hafize Gaye Erkan as the new central bank president. Departing significantly from its previous strategy of interest rate reduction, the central bank boldly announced an interest rate increase in June. As of October, this change in direction has endured, with the central bank implementing rate hikes for the fifth consecutive month.
This shift signaled Turkey's resolve to combat inflation, safeguard its currency's value, and stabilize the market amidst global economic volatility. In September, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) reported a robust 3.8% economic growth in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the same period the previous year. Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek noted that despite tightness in global financial markets and trade contractions, the economy continued to grow, with a target of reaching $1 trillion in 2023. Amidst these challenges and economic developments, the plastic and rubber industry in Turkey shines as a beacon of opportunity.
Embracing Opportunities Amidst Challenges: Investing in Turkey's Plastic and Rubber Industry
Turkey's economic expansion finds its bedrock in the manufacturing, agriculture, and services sectors, fortified by the nation's wealth of natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals. This development is greatly bolstered by Turkey's abundant natural resources. The plastics and rubber end-products industry in Turkey primarily centers on packaging products, while also extending its influence into the construction, automotive, textile, and agriculture sectors. This industry's continued evolution has significantly contributed to Turkey's economic landscape. According to data from the Turkish Plastics Association, from 2015 to 2020, the average annual investment in plastic and rubber machinery and equipment in Turkey totaled an impressive $840 million, reflecting an average annual growth rate of 2.1%.
These factors have positioned Turkey as the second-highest producer in Europe and the sixth-highest globally. In 2020, Taiwan's exports of plastic and rubber machinery to Turkey reached $23.72 million, reflecting a substantial 168% growth compared to last year. Concurrently, Turkey's imports of plastic and rubber machinery from global sources also experienced a robust increase of 43% in 2020. As of 2022, Turkey's imports of plastic and rubber-related products from Taiwan continue to grow, indicating that the local market demand remains unaffected by the pandemic and, in fact, exhibits a counter-trend upward trajectory.
The Formidable Support Behind Taiwan's Plastic and Rubber Manufacturers at PRM-TAIWAN
The geopolitical landscape around Turkey has been marked by significant instability, compounded by a major natural disaster this year. Nevertheless, in the face of these challenges, the ambitious centennial program and the dynamic shifts within the Turkish government have forged a promising path for Taiwanese manufacturers, with PRM assuming a prominent role in this transformative journey. One effective way for machinery manufacturers to quickly reach a broader customer base is by participating in local exhibitions, much like PRM's participation in the 2023 PLAST EURASIA ISTANBUL.
However, it's crucial to recognize that the costs associated with shipping and exhibitions might be very high. This is where PRM-TAIWAN shines. As the only Taiwanese company with over 16 years of experience in the plastics and rubber industry, we not only participate in exhibitions but also introduce Taiwan's excellent plastics and rubber manufacturers to on-site buyers through the PRM O2O Show Report. If you are attending the show, we can directly guide buyers to your booth. In addition to highlighting a company's primary products, the show report also indicates the location of the booth, helping you to effectively engage with local buyers and avoid missing any possible business possibilities.
In summary, Turkey, despite facing challenges like earthquakes and policy changes, continues to offer a landscape filled with both challenges and opportunities. The government's enduring objective is to stimulate economic growth and attract more investment. If you're exploring exhibition participation through PRM, we welcome you to join PRM-TAIWAN, where PRM is your dedicated partner in achieving successful exhibitions and unlocking abundant business opportunities.