Turkish contractors eye USD 5.2tn African pie


SPEAKING AT THE CONFERENCE, TMB Chairman Mithat Yenigun remarked on the potential of African markets in achieving the overseas employment target of Turkish citizens of 100,000. Edward James, MEED Director of Research, stated that the projects announced in Middle Eastern and African markets reached USD 5.2tn.

James underlined that stability was being restored in the region with the embargo on Qatar being lifted and that these projects will be advantageous for Turkish contractors.


James said that the market reaches USD 5.2tn when the newly-announced projects are included with ongoing projects. “These are all feasible projects, and more projects will be announced,” he said. “The biggest market is Saudi Arabia with the biggest client being Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.” He stated that the main employer in the Middle East and Africa region is the state. “We are expecting new project announcements from Saudi Arabia in the next 20 years,” he added. The project tenders in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates are worth USD 120m.”

Underlining the importance of financing for success, James added: “Those planning to work in the Middle East should gravitate towards Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Turkish contractors can thrive in those markets with public-private partnerships.” James stated that Turkish contractors are well-regarded in certain markets and that some countries want to attract them because of their high-quality work. James stressed the importance of choosing the right local partner. He stated that Turkish contractors could succeed, particularly in markets with low competition where there are not many big European players.


Yenigun, the TMB president, noted that negative attitudes against Turkish contractors in Gulf countries resulted in USD 3bn of losses. “Economic and political developments are inter-connected in our region. It is becoming increasingly important to take balanced and precise steps,” Yenigun said. Turkey could have a considerable share in the USD 5.2tn market emerging in the Middle East and Africa with the improvement of diplomatic relations and financing opportunities, he added. “These markets will allow us to triple Turkish overseas employment and fulfil our target employing 100,000.”

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