Turkish contractors’ international projects dwindling

While Turkish contractors were involved in a record 657 projects internationally in 2008, that figure fell to 322 last year, and to a dismal 92 for the first nine months of this year, according to figures from the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB).
A major factor in this sharp decline stems from the current circumstances in Libya, Iraq and Russia, which constitute 35 percent of the international market for Turkish contracting projects. All three countries are undergoing major political or economic difficulties. Due to financial difficulties, the Iraqi government has been unable to pay Turkish contractors for certain projects, with payments expected to be delayed until at least next April.
The TMB has suggested that contractors recoup these losses by looking towards the markets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America. During the first nine months of 2015, Turkish contractors were engaged in projects totaling $1.2 billion in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Congo, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.
The sector is also hopeful that the removal of economic embargoes in Iran will stimulate the market for Turkish contractors in that country. In 2002, Turkish contractors were engaged in 208 projects, with a total value of $4.1 billion internationally. By 2008, this figure had increased to $23.8 billion. In 2013, 415 projects were carried out at a record high value of $29.9 billion, while the 92 projects undertaken this year are valued at $15.2 billion.
Alongside China, the Turkish construction sector is considered one of the worldwide heavyweights in that industry. Turkeyand’s economic success in recent years has been attained largely at the hands of a booming construction industry, which has helped the country achieve growth levels of 9 percent in recent years, although growth last year fell to under 3 percent, with analysts speculating whether Turkeyand’s construction sector is a bubble waiting to burst.
By October, the business confidence index in Turkeyand’s construction sector had fallen four months in a row to reach its lowest level since May 2014, recent Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) data showed. According to TurkStatand’s monthly business trends survey, which represents business peopleand’s sentiments on how their businesses are and will be doing for the next three months in given sectors, the confidence index in the construction sector dropped by 0.5 percent from 80.42 points in September to 80.02 points in October. The fall stemmed from a decrease in the number of managers who evaluate current overall order books as above seasonal norms.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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