Exporter companies that are connected to Aegean Mine Exporters Association has made sales worth 73 million 192 thousand dollars in October 2017. As of October, the sector increased its exports by 37.8 percent in Turkey overall and reached almost 4 billion dollars in the first 10 months of last year. Mevlüt Kaya, Chairman of the Aegean Mine Exporters’ Association, said they have the potential to catch up with and go beyond the 2023 targets the government has set for the sector.
Dear Kaya, would you evaluate on the year 2017 in terms of the mining sector and all its components?
Our sector has a serious upsurge in 2017. It should be noted that this growth is also the effect of the shrinkage experienced in the previous year. This is pleasing to us. Especially in terms of our natural stone industry, the removal of the quotas of India and the relief of China’s suppressive system gave momentum to the Turkish mining and natural stone industry. The sector is now moving with a wider opening rather than looking at a single country or market.
How did global recession affect your sector?
We are not only exporters, we are manufacturer-exporters. %96 of our customers produce and sell at the same time. The survival crisis taught us that staying connected to a single country or region is risky for export sustainability. Turkish mining exporters have made contact with dozens of countries and firms from all over the world and expanded their export markets. In addition, they have learned the importance of developing high value-added, small in amount but high in value products and marketing them. All of this has brought about the fact that our industry is moving with a broader vision. We now have a sector that is not producing ordinary products but practicing serious projects. We have been in a serious cooperation with the Chamber of Architects in this sense for a year. If all stakeholders come together, we can capture perfection.
What are your predictions for 2018?
When we take into account the course of natural stone exports in the world, we are a sector with the potential to catch up with and exceed the 2023 targets set by the government as a sector, because we have raw materials and we are creating our own technology. Therefore, I can say that our expectation for 2018 and beyond is very high, provided we do not forget what factors outside of us will bring.