The Manisa Organised Industry Zone (MOSB) in western Turkey is seeking to attract more foreign investment as it develops its land holdings and grows, according to the top executive of the business chamber that owns and operates it.

“Our industry zone is the most developed in Turkey,” says Bülent Kosmaz, chairman of the board of directors of the Manisa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the MOSB. “We offer numerous attractions to investors, including low cost purchases of land and a completed infrastructure network with asphalt roads, and a steady supply of electricity and water.”

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Excellent situation

Situated on the outskirts of Manisa, a city of 230,000 inhabitants and capital of the province with the same name, the MOSB has five million square metres of land. It is Turkey’s second oldest industrial zone and one of the biggest of 76 operating across the country. It is 31km from the Aegean port city of Izmir and 45km from Adnan Menderes International Airport. The zone is also close to major express roads, making it easy to transport goods to markets anywhere in Turkey and abroad. A railroad linking the zone to the port of Izmir will soon be complete, further reducing export costs.

“We are developing four million square metres of land in an adjacent area and would like to see greater foreign investment here,” says Mr Kosmaz.

“The zone has a 55 megawatt power station, which we are expanding to 90mw. The plant provides all of the electricity needs of the factories. Investors get their electricity at 5% lower cost than they would if they bought it from the state electric company. The electricity rate will drop by 25% when extension of the power plant is completed,” he says.

Diverse industries

About 150 industrial companies operate in the industry zone, including manufacturers of textiles, home electronics, household appliances, automotive components, tobacco products, meat products, heating equipment, ceramics, cardboard, plastic and canned packaging materials, processed food and edible oils, and forestry products.

Vestel Elektronik, Europe’s largest manufacturer and exporter of colour television sets (CTVs), is the biggest company with manufacturing operations in the zone. It makes more than seven million CTVs annually, of which it exports 80%. In 2003, it had $1.036bn of exports on total sales of $1.217bn.

The main foreign manufacturers operating in the zone include:

  • British soft drinks and beer cans producer Rexam.

 

  • Radiator and motor vehicle parts manufacturer Robert Bosch AG of Germany.

 

  • Italian white goods manufacturer Merloni Elettrodomestici.

 

  • US automotive supplies manufacturer Hayes Lemmerz.

 

  • Italian bicycle manufacturer Bianchi.

 

  • Spanish hotel minibars producer ECM.

 

  • Imperial Tobacco of Britain, which is building a factory in the zone to produce its popular Davidoff cigarette brands. Production is expected to begin in 2005.

Incentives

The Turkish government began providing land and other incentives for the establishment of organised industry zones in cities across Turkey in the 1960s, with the aim of providing basic infrastructure and low-cost services to investors, helping in urban planning, bringing related industries together and fighting industrial pollution.

The zones are also designed to bring economic development to neglected regions of the country and to discipline industrial development in agricultural regions – Manisa province turns out 6% of Turkey’s agricultural output, including 25% of its tobacco, most of its raisins and large amounts of its cotton, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Most of the industry zones are run by the local chambers of commerce and industry or by the elected provincial assemblies.

Companies investing in industrial zones benefit from various tax breaks, including a five-year exemption from property tax.

At the MOSB, land can be purchased at $16 a square metre if all is paid in advance. Investors can also pay $25 a square metre for land over a five-year period if 20% of the cost is covered in advance. “We turn the title deeds over to the investor once the factory is built and production begins,” says Mr Kosmaz.