The Turkish maritime sector is a complex, but very important asset to the national economy and the development of foreign trade. In this study some the main drivers of the Turkish maritime economy are being described.
The report starts with a general introduction into Turkish maritime business. It includes a description of the historical setting, which is essential when trying to understand the modern times structures of ports and industry. It also gives a first introduction into the planning and growth management that appeared in modern history. As this study is meant to increase understanding and trade between The Netherlands and Turkey, also some information is given on cultural aspects of bilateral business.
Chapter 2 gives a practical insight into the development of the ports sector in Turkey.The cargo handled in Turkish ports increased from 184 million tonnes in 2004 to 388 million tonnes in 2012. Container traffic fourfolded in the same period, and is expected to fourfold again to 30 M TEU in 2023.These developments call for urgent new investments, multimodal solutions, privatisation and specialisation of ports. It is a task, that can only be done in co-operation with international knowledge partners, thus leading to new opportunities for Dutch investors and partners.
Where the ports provide the necessary infrastructure, the ship owners have the task to actually ship the goods to and from Turkey. In chapter 3 the development of the Turkish fleet is described. In 2005, the merchant fleet over 100 GT consisted of 1.596 vessels. This fleet increased 40% to 2.237 vessels by January 2013. The capacity was 10.7 M dwt in 2005 and almost tripled to 30 M dwt in eight years’ time. The different ramifications of the fleet are described, including the large numbers of older general cargo ships, to the large and modern bulk carrier and tanker fleet. Twenty shipowners are shortly described, including their ownership structure and fleet renewals.
This brings us to the third pillar of the Turkish maritime sector: the maritime manufacturing industries. These industries range from small equipment suppliers to large shipyards. In a period of ten years the number of Turkish shipyards grew from 37 in 2002 to 71 in 2012. Total capacity almost six folded. After 2008, the capacity more or less stabilised at around 3.5 M dwt (3.67 M dwt in 2012). As shipowners order their large ships in the Far East, the new capacity is however strongly under utilised. This report describes how shipyards adapt and seek new markets in offshore, ship repair, military projects, or merely by scaling down. Employment remains relatively stable. The superyacht industry and on the extreme other hand the rapidly expanding scrapping industry, are both performing well. New opportunities may appear in offshore exploration and production in Turkish coastal waters.
The Turkish maritime industry is supported by an impressive number of universities, vocational schools, training institutes, and to a lesser extent research facilities. They are responsible for the education of seafarers, technicians, and the training of personnel according to IMO and ILO standards. Chapter 5 sums up all relevant institutions and their particularities.
The next two chapters give more insight into the public side of the maritime business. The central role of the Ministry of Transport and in particular the department of Maritime Affairs is being described, including the internal organisation, policy priorities and contact points. The port strategy and policy developments plans all stem from this ministry. It is here where the central planning comes from. This means that Dutch investors or other stakeholders also will have to deal with this part of central government. And Dutch shipowners or offshore contractors ordering their ships in Turkey can be aided by Turkish export finance and shipbuilding incentives, although these facilities are generally below European or Asian standards.
This brings us to the relations between Turkey and the European Union. Part of the accession protocols is the harmonisation of safety and environmental standards. These efforts are aided by Euro Assistance under IPA components I, III, IV and V. Other forms for the delivery of assistance such as sector wide programmes or pooled financing with other donors may be piloted in the 2011-2013 in agreement between the Commission and the Turkish authorities if found appropriate for a more effective delivery of assistance. In addition, IPA funds will continue to be provided to Turkey to support participation in Union Programmes. In 2013 alone, 935 Million Euro’s are being reserved for cross border co-operation. Especially in infrastructure projects, these programs can give good incentives to Dutch companies doing business in Turkey.
The report ends with a SWOT analysis, conclusions and recommendations. Main conclusion is that a shared maritime vision can benefit both Turkish and Dutch maritime communities. Specific actions are recommended in the fields of Port development, fleet renewal, offshore development, lean technology, efficient transport technologies, shipyard production efficiency, yachbuilding and the forming of consortia in infrastructure, the latter possibly aided by the EU.