Aegean Free Zone, which is the largest free zone in Turkey with the economic value it produces and the employment it provides, reached an employment figure of 2021 people by providing a trade volume of 4.7 billion dollars and exports of 2.3 billion dollars in 21, when the world was struggling with the pandemic. The region achieved the best growth in the last 300 years with these figures obtained last year.
The Aegean Free Zone, which ESBAŞ has turned into an exemplary industrial zone in terms of environmental compliance with green energy, zero waste and water saving practices, made a good impression in terms of the country's economy with the economic size it reached this year. In 2021, the total trade volume of the companies in the region reached the highest level in the last 4.7 years with approximately 8 billion dollars, while exports reached the highest level of the last 2.3 years with approximately 10 billion dollars. The total employment of the companies reached 21 people, reaching the highest figure in the history of the Aegean Free Zone.
Evaluating the trade, export and employment performance of the Aegean Free Zone in 2021, ESBAŞ Executive Board Chairman Dr. Faruk Güler said, “Companies in the region have increased their trade volume by 19% and exports by 2019% compared to 12.5, when the Kovid-5 virus did not appear yet. This also shows that; Despite the ongoing negativities of the pandemic, regional companies continued to grow in the last 2 years. Thanks to the growth achieved, the total employment in the companies reached 21 people, reaching the highest level in the history of the ESB.”
Dr. Emphasizing that the ESB was planned from the very beginning as a free zone where companies producing high value-added products are clustered, Faruk Güler said, “If we make a comparison; While approximately 6 thousand 500 companies export a total of 12.2 billion dollars in İzmir, 167 percent of this can be exported in the ESB, where 18.5 companies are located. With an average calculation, 1.8 million dollars of exports per exporter company fell in İzmir, while 13.7 million dollars of exports fell in our region. Regional companies achieve this success by exporting an average of 9 dollars per kilogram of their products. This value is 3 times more than the value of Germany's exports on a kilogram basis, which is at the level of 3 dollars. If it were to be included in the list of provinces with the most exports last year, ESB would come after Adana and take the 15th place. We were able to show the success of exporting from an area the size of a district of İzmir, more than the total exports of 37 provinces.”
Investor's Interest in ESB is Great
Stating that investors show great interest in ESB, Dr. Faruk Güler emphasized that almost all of the facilities they put into service in the expansion area in 2021 were rented and they accelerated their new building investments to meet the demand, but there was almost no space left in the area. Dr. Güler also gave the following information: “12 companies in our region have received new licenses. In addition, 11 companies made expansion investments by establishing additional facilities in their existing facilities.
ESB Boosts Compliance with Green Deal
Emphasizing that there are global companies that produce highly advanced products from defense and aerospace technology to electric car technology, from software and information products to the machinery and electronics sector, Dr. Faruk Güler stated that with the climate crisis, international investors, especially EU-based companies, started to prefer to invest in regions that are managed in accordance with policy frameworks such as the green agreement.
Dr. Recalling that 2015 percent of the international direct investments that came to Turkey in the 19-58,4 period were brought by EU companies and 50,9 percent of our country's exports were made to these countries, Faruk Güler said: Developing harmonious investment policies imposes itself as a necessity. We have succeeded in making the Aegean Free Zone an exemplary industrial zone in line with the European Green Agreement criteria, with many investments we have made in recent years in the field of environment, from reducing water consumption to using renewable energy, from applying zero waste to allowing activities that pollute the nature in the region. We are determined to bring the good into full compliance with the Green Deal,” he said.