Work on Turkish logistics center in Russia speeds up
Exporters in Turkey are anxiously waiting for the arrival of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in May because they expect his visit will push for some serious steps to be taken regarding the launch of a Turkish logistics center planned to be constructed in Russia.
?Years ago we demanded the development of such a center. Finally, years later, this project is taking shape. We believe the project will be official following Medvedev"s visit,? said Ahmet Hamdi Gürdo?an, head of the Eastern Black Sea exporters" association. The center will focus on improving and extending the volume of trade implemented between Turkey and Russia.
?The project is quite new. Only so much has been done. We are working on selecting where to build the center as well as some technical details,? said Celalettin Damlac?, the deputy undersecretary who is tracking developments in projects on behalf of the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat.
The center, which is expected to cost about $100 million, will help gather all products arriving to Russia from Turkey under one roof. Despite the customs process, this center will also be responsible of keeping track of warehousing and marketing activities.
This Turkish logistics center would especially come in handy when Russia closes down its two Black Sea ports, one in Sochi, the other in Novorossiysk, said Gürdo?an. The project can really help prevent mishaps that can be experienced following the closure of these two ports, he added.
?What we really aim to do is develop this center in such way that it has free zone characteristics. That could help us enter our products to the Russian market without having to deal with customs,? said Gürdo?an.
The location of the center is very important, he said. Most Turkish exporters point to Gelendzhik, but the Russian government has so far offered 10 alternative locations, said Gürdo?an. ?The most suitable location for this project is Gelendzhik. Other port locations offered are not so easily accessible. Gelendzhik is on the coast of the Black Sea, and transportation-wise it is easily accessible,? he added.
The final location has to include at least 50 hectares of land, said Gürdo?an. ?Technical details of the projects are still not clear. However, we know it will include cold air warehouses and containers. We will also invest in the harbor.?
Mehmet Büyükek?i, chairman of the Turkish Exporters" Assembly, or T?M, said the project could be quite beneficial for exporters. ?These types of investments contribute significantly to the industry. Especially in countries where exporters cannot institutionalize,? said Büyükek?i. ?We are anxious for this project to become alive.?
Selme Simsek BEKTAS