MILLIYET Newspaper, Aegean Edition, Friday February 18, 2011
Minister Çaglayan talked about the past unjust applications in the free zones and the Ministry’s efforts to bring a new understanding.
Burcu Tamer Izmir DHA
State Minister Zafer Çaglayan stated that some companies in the free zones have misused the advantages given to them in the past which resulted in retrieval of those advantages and that his ministry is working on “next-generation free zones” to increase the weight of free zones in foreign trading.
State Minister Zafer Çaglayan addressed to representatives of the free zone companies during his visit to Ege Serbest Bölgesi Kurucu ve Isleticisi A.S. (ESBAS). Recalling the retrieval of the tax advantages from the free zones with legal regulations in 2005, Mr Çaglayan described the situation as a “historical accident”. Çaglayan said ESBAS has an important position among the 19 free zones located in Turkey.
Soon to be announced
Regarding the free zones, Çaglayan stated “We want to bring a new understanding of service to free zones which will be called next-generation free zones. We will work towards gaining more functionality to the zones to let them have a larger share in foreign trading. A new structuring is applied in our Ministry and General Directorate of Free Zones under the Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade in this context.”
Minister Çaglayan remarked that the ministry will reveal and announce the details of their work on next-generation free zones soon.
Corrupted people have misused it
Çaglayan drew attention to the fact that although the trade volume of free zones should have increased by now it has decreased drastically. He said “We all know the reasons. Corrupted people have misused the advantages given in the free zones which is an internal problem you have to solve. At this point, an auto-control has to be developed. You must inform the authorities about the corrupted people. Otherwise, there may be occasions where the innocent will suffer along with the guilty. Today the figures related to free zones should have been 3 to 5 times more than what they are now. There should have been not 19 but 49 free zones operating in Turkey today.
Customs Taxation on Textile Products is Right
While 30% additional tax application on imported textile and ready wear raw materials continue, Minister Çaglayan described the situation on an example of a pair of trousers imported from China on which 9% customs tax is imposed in Turkey while China imposes 60% customs tax on a pair of trousers imported from Turkey. Çaglayan commented “I cannot tend to the trees one by one; I have to look at the forest as a whole”.
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