The Chairman of PAGEV, the Turkish Plastics Foundation, has stated that hostilities in Syria coming to an end would be one of the best outcomes for the industry.
He made this statement in a recent overview of the Turkish plastics market's growth potential on a global scale. Turkish plastics has the potential to grow by between 5.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent in 2017 but the global economic downturn and challenges facing Turkey's key export markets could cap this growth at just four per cent.
Nevertheless, Turkey exported $5 billion in raw materials and finished products in 2016, maintaining its position as the world's sixth largest global plastics market with 9 million tonnes of plastic produced, worth $35 billion.
"The factors that restricted global economic growth in 2015 and 2016 are expected to continue in 2017," said PAGEV Chairman Yavuz Eroğlu. "Emerging and developing economies will continue to face challenges, while geopolitical tension may exacerbate the difficulties experienced by the global economy."
He continued that to protect itself from risk in the future, the Turkish plastics industry must transform itself from a low-value production market into an advanced plastics market.
PAGEV has begun work on the PAGEV Plastics Center of Excellence in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology to enable the production of high-technology plastics. In order to raise the export unit price from $2.8 per kilogram to $4 dollars per kilogram and in order to give greater focus to production development and a customer-centric value chain PAGEV is calling on a revision of incentives available to the sector. The association argues that local producers should be protected through incentives that reduce production and investment costs rather than additional taxes on raw material imports. Turkish plastics exporters are also being encouraged to diversify in order to mitigate risks.
Domestic demand is expected to be the driving force of growth in the Turkish economy in 2017, according to PAGEV. Positive developments in 2017 include the effect of domestic demand in spurring growth, low commodity prices, signs of recovery in the EU, and the end of sanctions against Iran.
"One of the best things that can happen for the industry in 2017 is the hostilities in Syria coming to an end," said Eroğlu. "We will all appreciate this from a human perspective, while the industry will further appreciate the opportunities this will reopen. It is possible for Syria to become Turkey's largest trading partner in plastics if the civil war comes to an end. Stability in the region will help us increase our exports to Iraq as well."