The chemical industry, which has been operating in Turkey for a few decades now, manufactures a wide range of (semi-manufactured) products for various domestic industries and is, therefore, an economic factor of geo-strategic importance. The chemical sector in Turkey has a strong export potential and its ± 4,000 enterprises create employment for over 81,500 predominantly young and talented employees.
70% of the industry depends on the import of raw materials.
In 2010 the Turkish chemicals sector generated an added value to the national economy of approximately $ 50 billion, with an estimated production of $ 123 billion generated at 70-75% of its total manufacturing capacity. Exports amounted to around $ 7.5 billion, which is 6.5% of Turkey’s total exports. The greater part of these exports are synthetic products such as pipes, tubes and fitting accessories. Apart from these plastic products, the chemical sector produces detergents, solvents, cosmetics, inorganic chemicals and medicines.The chemicals sector is a major component of Turkish industry; it contributes 6% to the GDP with a wide range of products. Around 314 enterprises have overseas’ investments, which amount to 13% of Turkey’s foreign capital.
The chemicals sector’s production is primarily geared to the demand from the manufacturing industries. There is a substantial potential for growth in the industry’s many sub sectors, such as petrochemicals, thermoplastics, fertilizers, organic and inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibres and yarns, detergents, paint, etc. The availability of various raw materials from within Turkey’s borders enables its chemical industry to be a strong international competitor. Turkey is one of the leading manufacturers of sodium carbonate, chromium and boron.
In 2010, total production of chemicals was 126 million tons, the bulk of which (about 84%) came from the private sector. The majority of enterprises in the chemical industry, in particular the private ones, are established in Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Adana, Gaziantep and Ankara. Turkey’s chemical industry is strong in terms of quality, productivity and environmental conservation, and is well on its way to meeting European technical standards.
Other developments that will contribute to the industry’s efficiency are the expected increase of local refinement capacity, R&D investments, staff training, improvements in waste disposal technology and increasing investments in the private sector.
- Turkish Chemical Industry 2011, Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association, August 2011
- Turkish Chemical Industry Report, Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey