the 1970s, due to the economic crisis in the domestic
market, Turkish contractors for the first time, become
interested in overseas projects. With the first contracts
signed in Libya, Turkish international contracting services
started their rapid development phase due to the incremental
reconstruction activities of the oil producing countries.
Since than they have made remarkable progress.
Following North Africa and
the Middle East, which remained major markets for many
years, in the mid 1980s Turkish contractors entered into the
former USSR. The Turkish-Russian Natural Gas Agreement
signed in 1984 reinforced the volume of in this country.
If we examine the
geographical breakdown of the total volume of projects,
before 1990 we see that Libya, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were
the top three countries. However, since 1990, the top three
ranking countries have been replaced by the Russian
Federation, Libya and Kazakhstan.
Now initiatives are oriented
towards South and South East Asia with contracts won in
Pakistan, Malaysia and Philippines. In the European Market,
the total value of projects by Turkish contractors was
around 8 million DM, as a recent development, projects in
the framework of Lebanese and Jordanian reconstruction
programs are being followed.
So far, the total value of
projects undertaken by the Turkish contractors has reached
$33 billion US (the projects still under progress amount to
$15 billion US). The present share of the Turkish
construction sector in the international market is about 10%
and today, Turkish contractors play a major role in the
international arena and are active in more than 25
There is a significant change
in the pattern of Turkish overseas contractors portfolios.
Turkish contractors are now exploring the significant needs
of the products and services of the countries in which they
are operating or intending to operate. They are catering to
those needs with whole package offers consisting of basic or
process engineering, feasibility studies, equipment
selection and extension of credit.
Today Turkish construction
and engineering firms are able to design, erect, build and
operate almost all kinds of civil and industrial projects,
such as dams, hydroelectric power plants, industrial plants,
large scale petroleum and natural gas pipelines, thermal
power plants, fertilizer plants, petrochemical complexes and
refineries, motorways, tunnels, large housing projects,
high-rise buildings, hotel and touristic resorts.
The experience gained in the
Middle East and Common-Wealth Independent States carried the
Turkish Contractors to an outstanding position in comparison
with their competitors some additional advantages such as
geographical proximity, low labor cost and high quality
technical personnel make Turkish contractors noteworthy.
The work of Turkish
contractors abroad has come to be accepted worldwide and the
quality of the construction, their relative cheapness and
speed have impressed both the employer institutions and the
end users extensively. Today, foreign capital from the EU,
the USA, Japan and Australia prefers to cooperate with
Turkish businessmen to enter into the Central Asian
Republics. This preference can be readily attributed to the
expertise and strength of Turkish contracting firms and
their ability to use high technology.
The only necessary factor
lacking is financing capacity. Although Turk Eximbank
extends credit lines to the target markets (currently only
to the Russian Federation and Central Asian Republics), due
to the economic situation of our country they are far below
the requirements of the Turkish contracting sector.
Especially in the Middle East and the Central Asian
Republics, tenders issued are being won by contracting firms
which also extend financing facilities.
The contracting services
sector plays an important part in the progress of the
Turkish economy and will continue to contribute to the
development of the relations Turkey has with neighbouring
countries and with other countries that she considers to
have economic ties with.