Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün spoke to the press after a meeting with General Electric (GE) President and CEO of MENA and Turkey region Nabil Habayeb on Tuesday. The minister said GE will provide details on its plans for investment, which fall under four strategic categories, in June.
Ergün said the corporation will invest in the fields of energy, healthcare, transportation, and research and development. “We spoke previously in January when they told us about their decision to invest in Turkey. They will announce details of the investment plan in June as well as their decision to base their regional operations in Turkey.” The minister said the corporation plans to invest in the production of plane engines and locomotives and will support the Turkish supply industry but purchasing domestically. GE also plans to establish an R&D center in Turkey.
The minister said the incentives package the government announced last month to attract investment in strategically important areas had a serious impact on the corporation’s decision to invest in Turkey. He added that the proposed investment categories are very strategic and will help reduce the country’s CAD.
As plans to expand Turkey’s high-speed train network move forward, it is increasingly important to ensure that the locomotives are produced locally in order to boost the domestic economy. GE’s cooperation with Tusaş Engine Industries (TEI) to produce plane engines will boost domestic plane production and move Turkey closer to its goal of a homegrown aircraft industry.
Turkey’s healthcare industry imports 85 percent of its healthcare devices at an annual cost of $1.5 billion, so the production of these devices in the country would reduce $1.5 billion from the country’s CAD. In addition, the R&D center will provide employment for Turkish engineers in particular and GE will use domestic suppliers for many of its needs, which will increase production for domestic manufacturers. Speaking to Today’s Zaman at the seventh meeting of the Investment Advisory Council for Turkey (YDK) in İstanbul last week, General Electric Healthcare CEO and President John Dineen said, “Our interest in Turkey is driven by local demand, and as long as the government continues to support the healthcare and energy fields, our interest will remain.” Noting that Turkey’s healthcare sector has been growing more than any other country in the world, and accessibility to healthcare is world class, he stated: “The presence of great doctors, good public and private hospitals as well as an increase in specialty hospitals demonstrates [Turkey’s] potential; however, there are needs for high-technology products and we are looking to serve those needs as well as creating local manufacturing opportunities. In addition, policies implemented by the government have contributed majorly to this progress.”
“Investments in healthcare and the energy fields up to this date have been successful and we have actively been in dialogue with the government. GE’s future investments include the healthcare sector and locomotive production for the transportation sector,” he said.