Speaking at the International Contracting Services award ceremony organized by the Turkish Contractors’ Association, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the event awards representatives of institutions listed among the top 250 largest contracting firms.

Drawing attention to the fact that Turkey, which ranks second in the field of contracting services worldwide, reinforced its power each year, President Erdoğan stressed that Turkish contractors, who have undertaken projects worth close to $340 billion so far have made important contributions to the economy in terms of logistics, employment, technology and information-giving topics.

Underlining that they do not see contractors’ undertakings abroad as mere economic activities, Erdoğan noted that they also impress the seal of culture, color and values of the country wherever they go. He said: “You are also building a bridge between civilizations. For this, we regard the activities you conduct as at least as important as those of our other institutions,” addressing representatives of the contracting sector. “Each of our companies waving our flag in front of the construction site is a representative of our country. I believe that you regard your work in the same way, as well.”

Pointing out that contracting firms have undertaken important projects in neighboring countries and will continue to do so, Erdoğan emphasized that the country’s potential is far below the level it needs to be, saying Korean companies get a 21 percent share and Chinese companies get 17 percent in the Middle East, while Turkish firms are below 8 percent. Likewise in Africa, while China has 55 percent and Italy has 10 percent, Turkey has less than a 5-percent share, Erdoğan said that these are places with which Turkey has very strong historic ties; therefore, it has to have higher shares.

“If our contractors purchase materials that they will use in projects they will be conducting abroad, Eximbank will finance them with a zero-interest loan for these materials,” Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci announced during his speech at the same meeting.

Zeybekci said that the contracting industry has undertaken 9,000 projects worth $340 billion in 114 countries to date, adding that they are proud of the performance of the industry. He added that while the international journey of this industry began by constructing the port in Libya in 1972, today the average project value has reached $80 million.