A protocol signing ceremony was held on Aug. 21st in the ESBAS Technology Center Conference Hall, officiated by Turkish Minister of Economy Mr. Nihat Zeybekci for the expansion of the Aegean Free Zone and time extension of the ESBAS operating license. “We have been working on this expansion with the support of our Minister of Economy, together with the Deputy Minister, Free Zones Overseas Investment and Services General Manager and all other relevant officers since last year. We are excited to sign this protocol as a product of our hard work” said ESBAS CEO Dr. Faruk Güler. “As you know, our Minister of Economy, Mr. Nihat Zeybekci has indicated that all legal steps are being taken for the expansion of the Aegean Free Zone. As ESBAS, we are focused on growth and we have had long and comprehensive discussions with the ministry of economy on establishing the applicable regulations for the 600 dunam (148 acres) of expansion area. This expansion will increase annual trade volume to 7 billion dollars and pave the way for further employment of 5,000 people at the Aegean Free Zone " added Guler.
Turkey’s first private Free Zone: Aegean Free Zone
Guler further explained that this future expansion will mark the first time a free zone in Turkey will grow with such a substantial additional investment. “We wish to see more company investments, particularly foreign investments in Izmir. We believe that the addition of this expansion area into ESBAS will attract more potential investors to the Aegean Free Zone. There is a continuing interest from the investors in the Aegean Free Zone. We’re trying to complete the regulatory issues as soon as possible in order not to lose any potential investors” said Guler.
Currently 18,200 employees at the Aegean Free Zone
Dr. Güler remarked that 70 of the 185 companies currently operating in the Aegean Free Zone are foreign investment companies. “These operating companies generate employment for 18,200 people. Therefore, additional growth of ESBAS and the Aegean Free Zone will also be a remedy for unemployment. We project additional employment for 5,000 people when the expansion area is made available for investments. The Aegean Free Zone is the highest trade volume-generating free zone, with the highest number of employees among the 19 free zones in Turkey,’ stated Guler. “ESBAS is proud of celebrating the 25th anniversary of its operation at the Aegean Free Zone this year, as well as achieving a 60 billion dollar total trade volume since the Zone opened.”
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