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Free zones reap profits as trade volume balloons
May '08
Free trade zones in Turkey witnessed a giant leap in its trade volume in the first quarter of 2008 engaging in ventures worth US $6.5 billion, a jump of 17.2 percent over the same period last year.

Of the total, the largest share belonged to the Istanbul Leather Free Zone which recorded revenue amounting to $1.6 billion. The Aegean Free Zone ranked second with $983.8 million in trade.

The trade volume of Mersin Free Zone saw a 32.2 percent increase over the previous year, rising to $716.6 million. Thrace Free Zone, on the other hand, suffered a 7 percent drop in the given period and fell to $530.6 million. However, the sixth largest free zone, Bursa, enjoyed a 10.8 percent rise and reached $456.5 million in trade.

Most of the trade deals in the free zones amounting to $2.5 billion were contracted with companies from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and the European Union.

Other European countries had a mere $7.5 million share whereas member countries of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) ventured for business deals worth $469.8 million with companies operating in free zones of Turkey. Again, customers in North Africa and Middle East countries made transaction of goods worth $345.2 million.

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