The trade volume of Mersin Free Zone, one of the important foreign trade centers of Turkey, in the first 6 months of the year increased by 36% compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $1.5 billion.
In the Mersin Free Zone, where 411 companies, 115 foreign and 296 domestic, operate in the fields of foreign trade and logistics, the trade volume, which was $1.1 billion in the first 6 months of last year, increased to $1.5 billion this year.
Edvar Mum, General Manager of Mersin Free Zone Founder and Operator Inc. (MESBAS) told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they are the only region with a private pier within its borders, and that being adjacent to Mersin International Port facilitates product shipment by sea.
Emphasizing that as one of the first free zones in Turkey, they acted as both a production, trade and logistics center, Mum said, “Mersin Free Zone is currently working with 100% allocation with the interest of investors. The center, which has created a very important commercial capacity in the process so far, is in an important position in terms of the economy of our country and our city with 115 foreign and 296 domestic companies, 11 thousand employees and an annual trade volume of approximately $3 billion.”
Stating that 889 thousand tons of goods were handled in the first 6 months of 2021 in the free zone, Mum said, “We have overcome the negativities of the pandemic process and increased our trade volume, which was $1.1 billion in the first 6 months of last year, to $1.5 billion in the same period of this year. Therefore, an increase of more than 35% was achieved, which is important for us. Firms are increasing their trade volumes and capacities.”
Traded with 106 countries
Mum stated that mainly machinery and metal, chemistry, ready-made clothing, food, medical and packaging materials industries operate in the region, “In Mersin Free Zone, 682 different products are traded with 106 countries. These figures show the multifaceted effectiveness of trade with world countries. The USA, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Spain, Ecuador, Malaysia, Germany and China are among the foreign countries with the highest foreign trade. Industrial products make up 76% of the trade volume, and agricultural products make up 24%.”
Noting that they aim to increase the trade volume further, Mum said:
“Mersin Free Zone is a preferred point of investors, thanks to its convenient geographical location and seaway connections, as well as the border of Mersin International Port and its direct connections. We aim to exceed a trade volume of $3 billion in the whole of 2021. In previous years, we reached trade volumes of $2.1 and $2.5 billion. This year, we aim to exceed $3 billion. The trade volume we realized in the 6-month period of this year shows that this can happen.”
Emphasizing that it could not meet the new investment demands due to the allocation of all investment areas in the region, Mum continued as follows:
“We need to expand the area because we are receiving investment requests. We conveyed our request to the relevant ministry for the 334-decare area between the Mersin Free Zone, which is the neighbor of the border, and the fertilizer factory, to be included in the regional borders. After the negotiations, the area will be deemed appropriate and allocated to the regional borders, and the annual trade volume will reach at least $5 billion and the employment capacity will reach 15 thousand. This is so important for us.”
Edvar Mum, General Manager of MESBAS, added that they are working on improving working conditions and renewing investments in the region.
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz