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Turkish construction market imports: finding the right fit for your company

The Turkish construction industry will continue to grow from 2015 until 2019, with an average CAGR of 4.9% during this period. A report from Timetric indicates that if this growth level persists, the construction sector in Turkey will hit a total value of nearly $125 billion by 2020. An expanding market always presents exciting opportunities for the right companies – so how can yours benefit?


Turkey at a glance

- Population: 77,278,787 (Jan, 2016)
- GDP: $1.5 trillion (PPP, 2014), $798 billion (nominal, 2014)
- GDP Growth: +4% (Q3 2015)
- GDP per capita: $19,610 (PPP,2014), $10,482 (nominal, 2014)
- Unemployment: 9.3% (May, 2015)
- Ease of Doing Business: Ranked 55th in the world (World Bank, 2016)
- Ease of Getting Credit: Ranked 79th in the world (World Bank, 2016)
- World Competitiveness Rating: 40th (IMD, 2015)
- World Talent Ranking: 46th (IMD, 2015)
- Global Connectedness Ranking: 59th (DHL, 2014)
- FDI: $14 billion (Jan-Nov 2015)


What is driving Turkish construction?

To contextualise the market, several factors are driving growth in Turkish construction. Firstly, the country’s infrastructure push, as outlined in Turkey’s Vision 2023 initiative, has created a variety of megaprojects such as the Avrasya Eurasia tunnel and the massive Istanbul New Airport. Growing urbanisation is also playing a key role in spurring on building work alongside a rising population and growing foreign investment levels in the real estate market.

Timetric valued the construction industry at $98.4 billion in 2014. Retail construction constituted 52% of this, while infrastructure projects contributed a further 20.5% to the total figure.


Where does Turkey get its imports?

Information from TurkStat, the state statistical service, indicates that the nation’s imports totalled $242.17 billion in 2014 (the most up to date information at the time of writing). Turkey imports from a wide variety of countries, with many European states constituting the top exporters. In 2014, Russia was Turkey’s largest trading partner exporting $25.3 billion, but this is likely to change next year for political reasons. The top five nations Turkey imported goods and materials from in 2014 were:

Russia - $25.3 billion
China - $24.9 billion
Germany - $22.4 billion
USA - $12.7 billion
Italy - $12.1 billion


What are the headline figures?

The Harvard Atlas of Economic Complexity shows which sectors contribute large chunks of the total value of Turkish Imports. As of 2014, Turkey imported:

- Stone & Glass - $9.76 billion
- Metals (including steel, aluminium and iron) – $28.7 billion
- Mineral Products - $23.3 billion
- Machinery/Electrical - $42.7 billion
- Textiles - $12.2 billion
- Plastics - $15.8 billion
- Chemical products - $19 billion

While there are multitudes of uses for the above product categories, many of them are used widely in the construction industry. Turkey is noted for having particularly robust internal production capacity for some key building materials, including ceramics, steel and cement.

That being said, there are many indispensable construction materials and products that Turkey still sources externally. Turkey imports more goods than it exports, so exporters hoping to begin operations in the country should see great returns – more so given the boosts in affordable housing and infrastructure projects spearheaded by the government in recent times.


What does the Turkish construction industry import?

Finishings and interior products appear to be what the Turkish construction industry requires. A wide variety of product areas are open to exporters, ranging from roof fixings and fitting elements, HVAC systems, wall coverings and equipment plus many other key components. Overarching categories that present lucrative opportunities for foreign companies looking to break into the Turkish market include:

- Interiors, design & décor
- Windows, facades, fates & automation
- Plumbing, heating & ventilation
- Ceramics, bathrooms & sanitary
- Natural stone & technologies
- Hardware & tools
- Architectural glass
- Flooring
- Lighting & electrics
- Doors & locks
- Paints & coatings
- Wall décor


Exporter profiles

Dallan Spa

Dallan Spa is an Italian manufacturing firm, specialising in the design, building and supply of roll-formers plus turnkey systems that manufacture products complete with punching, bending and packaging.

As an internationally renowned brand, Dallan operates in over 75 countries worldwide. It is little surprise to see the firm enjoying strong success in the Turkish market. A lack of dedicated processing machinery is a hindrance to the Turkish construction market, and this has created a space in the market. Dallan is one of the firms that has noticed this gap, and continues to exports its products and services to Turkey.

Amongst its products available include systems for the production of ceiling t-grids, drywall, door frames, HVAC and a number of other vital finishing touches that many construction projects require.

Simonswerk GmbH

As Germany is one of Turkey’s largest trade partners, particularly in the manufacturing sector, it is only appropriate to feature a German brand in our guide to Turkish importers. Simonswerk GmBH has been creating top-quality hinges and hinge systems for over 120 years. As part of their global strategy, the company entered Turkey some years ago and its operations continue to go from strength to strength.

Simonswerk creates and sells a number of different hinges, and hinge systems, that are ideal for use in any number of buildings. As well as domestic and retail uses, Simonswerk hinges are often used high traffic areas and are available in a number of different profiles. As Turkey’s construction portfolio is very diverse, building everything from nuclear power plants through to affordable housing apartments and beyond, adaptability and quality are key in Turkish buyer’s minds – which may explain Simonswerk’s Turkish success.


Where can you meet key buyers and importers?

Forging the right connections with industry figures is always an essential initial step when it comes to entering a new market. TurkeyBuild Istanbul, one of three TurkeyBuild shows in the country, brings together over 1,250 exhibitors from across the globe, and some 104,000 visitors in one venue.

The 2016 edition runs from 10-14 May in Istanbul. Learn more about the exhibition today and how it can provide you with the perfect platform for Turkish export expansion.

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