When the export data of the last few years is examined, exports in the sector are made to the countries such as the United States, Malta, Italy, Holland and England. Obviously, the country and territories are not the markets for the yacht sector. The yacht industry targets individuals. Luxury yachts have a niche target group of people defined as wealthy individuals according to world economic standards.
There are many reasons why Turkey is preferred in the yacht sector. In terms of geographical structure, Turkey has significant advantages in the yacht and boat industry. In addition, when we consider the labor and material quality, cost advantages, the number and competence of the marinas in our country, and the ability of yacht manufacturing shipyards and subsidiary companies to meet customer requests, we consider the demand for Turkish yachts abroad to be normal, even below the level the sector deserves.
The yachts designed and built in Turkish shipyards, especially those that are bigger than a certain size, are in no sense behind those built anywhere in the world.
– The success of Turkish shipyards in repairs is well-known. How does this reflect on ship and yacht exports?
Repair maintenance activities for Turkish shipyards have as much precaution as new shipbuilding. However, repair and maintenance activities are not currently reflected in the sectoral export figures at present. As you know, our association has added “Services” to its name as of 2018. This means that maritime services, led by repair and maintenance, are considered exports and will be included in our association’s field of work. Our efforts on the issue are continuing. When the process is completed, our shipyards’ repair and maintenance services, and other maritime services such as towage, design, pilotage will be included in the sector’s export numbers, helping better reflect the exports power of the sector. We forecast an annual increase of around USD 500 million in the sector’s exports with the inclusion of the repair and maintenance services in the export numbers.
– What are Turkey’s targets in ship and yacht exports? What moves are made for these targets? What is your strategy and action plan to determine the road map for the sector?
Our sector has its own target in line with our country’s 2023 exports targets. We aim to increase the sector’s exports to a share of 2,5 percent in the global market as of 2023. With the forecast that the global exports of the sector will reach USD 150 billion in 2023, we want to increase our exports to USD 3.8 billion.
For the sector to reach its targets:
We make efforts to solve the key issues that prevent the sector from performing at its true potential, we determine the problems of the sector in coordination with member companies and convey our recommendations to the relevant institutions. To help member companies have more links abroad, we attend international fairs with delegations and informative stands, and organize trade delegation visits to target markets. We organize design contests for students, who are the future of the sector, and contribute in the education of successful engineers, and provide ways for them to be employed in the sector in the future. We prepare periodical reports to take a snapshot of the sector, take necessary steps to better position the sector in the international market. We often bring together sector stakeholders and promote the mentality of acting together as a sector.
– When compared to the previous years, what is the exports rate in 2017 and the first half of 2018? What are the targets for 2018 and expectations for 2019?
The sector’s exports were USD 1.337 in 2017, making it Turkey’s top industry sector in terms of increase in exports compared to 2016.
2018 started slow compared to 2017. The sector exports were USD 5000 million in the first half of the year, with a 20 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2017. But we had a good month in July with total exports of USD 148 million. As a result, the sector’s exports in the first seven months is at USD 642 million, cutting the gap with the numbers in 2017. As of the year’s end, we expect to reach somewhere around USD 1,5 billion, similar to the total exports last year.
We forecast that the sector’s exports will go over USD 1,5 billion in 2019.
– What does the association do to create design brands?
The association’s most significant work in terms of design is the ‘National Ship and Yacht Design Contest,’ which echoed both in the national press and the sectoral press. These contests, organized every year with different subjects and concepts, make significant contributions to emphasize the importance of design to the students, who are the future of the sector, and to direct the young engineer candidates to the design job. The students also have the chance to win financial awards and education abroad in these contests, organized.