Free Zones Foreign Investments and Services General Directorate of the Turkish Ministry of Economy and the Aegean Free Zone Development and Operating Company, ESBAS have signed a preliminary protocol for development and operation of the Western Anatolia Free Zone. Honored by the participation of the Minister of Economy Mr. Nihat Zeybekci, the protocol ceremony took place on Tuesday, October 3rd with the attendance of many distinguished representatives from the business world.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Faruk Güler, CEO of ESBAS, expressed that the success of ESBAS in developing and operating a free zone will continue at the Western Anatolia Free Zone. Güler said, “To us, Free Zone means export, welfare and most importantly employment in Türkiye. 3 out of 18 people working in free zones in Türkiye are employed at the Aegean Free Zone. Our export rate equals to that of the total of 37 cities in Türkiye. We are almost like the top 10th city to have the highest export. Companies operating in the Zone generate 22% of the total export of Izmir and 11% of the total export of the Aegean Region. Our export has a value of 8.58 USD per kg, whereas Germany’s export has an average value of 3.5 USD, which means that products manufactured at the Aegean Free Zone have a high added value.”
Referring to the importance of employment and regional development, Dr. Güler said, “We have 20.300 young and very competent people working at the Aegean Free Zone. Our new free zone will have 20.000 employees, and the investments here will contribute to the development of Bergama and the Aegean Region. Gaziemir is an example of such development, the same will happen for Bergama as well.”
Concluding his speech by noting that, similar to the Aegean Free Zone, they will bring investors who manufacture products with high added value, Dr. Faruk Güler remarked, “We need such investments to escape the middle income trap in Türkiye and improve our welfare. We want to attract investors into our city, help develop our country, be a remedy to the problem of employment, bring welfare and to make investments to achieve these goals. Our Minister of Economy Mr. Nihat Zeybekci trusted that we can do this and so here we are today to sign the preliminary protocol for establishment of a new Free Zone. I would therefore like to express my profound gratitude to his Excellency.”
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