MAiB, Kutlu Karavelioglu: Turkish machinery producers are committed to be strong business partners of Bulgaria

MachinesInterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2020 • 23.03.2020

Turkish machinery producers are committed to be strong business partners of Bulgaria

Kutlu Karavelioglu, Chairman of the Turkish Machinery Exporters Association, for South-East European Industrial Market magazine

How is modern Turkish economy growing and what is the place of the machinery sector in the whole picture? Which factors stimulate the rise of this branch and what are the advantages of the local environment which attract foreign investments?

Turkey is a competitive industrial country where production technologies are highly advanced, qualified engineers are raised in well-established education institutions, having no problem in the supply of technical staff thanks to its young population. The share of advanced technology products in the total export has been gradually increasing in Turkey, the leading companies of the world are improving cooperation with Turkish companies every year in order to meet their technological needs, including the machinery and equipment.

Our machinery industry, which is one of the sectors where these collaborations have become intensified, has the capability to develop technology in niche areas with its SME-based scale structure, and to produce flexible solutions special to the needs of its customers. Turkey, which has succeeded in increasing its machinery export by a level of 15 percent on average every year since 2002, is one of the two countries that have accomplished the highest increase overall the world with this increase rate in this field.

Turkish machinery sector performs its machinery export, which reaches 20 billion USD per year, to USA and European countries at a rate of 60%, and these countries are highly interested in Turkish machineries with advanced technology. Our Association, which has been continuing its activities under the brand of “Turkish Machinery” all over Turkey, carries this success a step further with its collaborations that it has developed at international scale.


What is the share of plastic and rubber processing machinery in the total Turkish machinery exports? Which are the main export markets and applications? What global business opportunities still remain unexploited in this area?

Plastic and rubber processing machinery sector where export takes places at a level of 28 billion USD overall the world according to the data of UN Statistics Department, is one of the areas where Turkey is competitive. Our sector under which around 1400 companies export plastic and rubber processing machines and their parts and pieces, performs 1,1 percent of the total machinery export of Turkey. Injection machines, extrusion machines, thermoform machines and presses as well as other machines are among our products that are leading in the export of this sector. This sector where our machines are mostly demanded by Russia, hosts significant opportunities for countries which are in search of products which are more cost-effective than Western and more qualified than Eastern machines.


What challenges do domestic companies in the sector face during the transition to the fourth industrial revolution? Which are the most innovative technologies in machine building that Turkish manufacturers develop?

Technology for special purpose machines and niche areas is produced in Turkey. With the motto of “re-industrialization”, Turkey has allocated its financial resources for the support of strategic sectors, and encouraging the companies that have commercial connections with global business partners and developing the technology have become the fundamental priority in the future strategy of the public. With its international brand value and strong engineering experience, Turkish machinery industry is the leading figure of sectors which will use these developing mechanisms in Turkey in the best manner.

On the other hand, Turkish machinery sector has had the capacity to rapidly respond to the machinery demands and needs of European industrialists for long years. With our sectoral structure that is suitable for producing special purpose machines and developing technology in niche areas, we are among the leading players monitoring the industrial revolution that is defined as Industry 4.0 in European production industry and giving its unique meaning. We established lasting relationships with customers abroad based on trust, continuing to be a good business partner for the developed industrial countries with our logistics opportunities, importance that we attach to design and our quality services following the ordering. I believe that we will leverage the brand perception of our machines further in Bulgaria with our investments in advanced technology and innovation.


What is the current state of Turkish-Bulgarian business relations in the field of machine building? What is the significance of the Bulgarian market for the distribution of Turkish production?

Bulgaria should benefit more from the technical capacities of Turkish machinery. Bulgaria has always been a friend, neighbor and ally country for us. Following its transition to free market economy, commercial relations have always been on a good path and the foreign trade of both countries has always progressed in a balanced way for the parties.

With the effect of Turkish investments in Bulgaria, we think that the commercial cooperation between two countries will increase further in the near future and that Bulgaria will benefit more from the technical capacities of Turkish machinery. Bulgaria is a country that is suitable for new investments in the fields of tourism, health, transportation, information technologies and contracting. We intend to be one of the most powerful business partners in the rapid development of Bulgaria.