Mr. Latif Aral Aliş, Chairman of Defence and Aerospace Industry Exporters' Association (SSI) and of Turkish Defence Alliance (TDA), which carry on their activities with a view to enabling Turkish defence industry to become one of leading suppliers of the world, made an assessment of the sector’s exports in the year 2015 and developments in the first half of 2016, sharing his expectations for the second half of the year at the press conference held on 15 July 2016 at İstanbul Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel with the attendance of the National Defence Minister Mr. Fikri Işık.
Mr. Aliş said: “We, as the defence and aerospace industry, are completing major projects one by one, and launching new national projects. We continue to make our nation proud, to make a major contribution to our country and to be the bright face of Turkey in exports. Growing with R & D activities and technological investments, our defence sector now exports more than one-third of its output.” He stated that the exports of the sector increased by 11.6 percent according to June 2016 data, and that they aimed to achieve 20 percent growth in the sector in the year 2016.
Noting that Turkish defence companies were included in the list of the world’s biggest defence companies and that the sector targeted to realize USD 25 billion worth of exports in the year 2023, Mr. Latif Aral Aliş said: “To attain our export target, we need to increase our exports both quantitatively and qualitatively. The average price of Turkish export products is USD 1.34 per kg, which compares with an average of USD 25/kg for the exports of the defence industry. To this end, we support our SMEs in their endeavor to join in with the exporters by working together with our universities and by developing new products not only in big cities, but also in other provinces.”
The National Defence Minister Mr. Fikri Işık touched upon the importance of Turkey’s having a strong democracy, a strong economy and a strong army in order for her to survive and to look to her future with confidence, and said: “Turkish Armed Forces has the most qualified human resource in the world. We should support our qualified human resource with a strong defence industry.”
Stating that 11.6 percent increase in the exports of the defence industry was pleasing, the Minister Mr. Işık said: “By investing heavily in R & D and innovation, we have paved the way for production of high-value-added products in our defence industry which is an indispensable sector. The private sector and SMEs should play a bigger role in the defence industry. We believe that growth in the defence industry will be realized by the private sector. We think we will thus raise the exports of the defence industry from around USD 1.7 billion to USD 5 billion in a short period of time.”