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By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) – China's leading technology company Xiaomi jointly launched a production facility in Istanbul on Monday with supply giant Salcomp.
The firm announced its plan to open a factory in Turkey with an investment of $30 million in February.
Turkey is the fourth country in the world where the brand has production plants.
In a message sent to the opening ceremony, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey offers important opportunities for foreign investors thanks to its dynamic labor force and strategic location.
Turkey is open to demands by foreign investors to build research and development, and design centers within the country, Erdogan stressed.
The factory, which was established on a 14,000-square-meter (around 150,700-square-feet) area, will have a capacity of producing five million devices annually and create 2,000 jobs, he noted.
– Over 100 stores in Turkey by end-2021
Vincent Chang, head of Xiaomi Turkey, said the firm wants to become the number one smartphone brand in Turkey, both in terms of sales and customer satisfaction.
"In this context, we are aiming to have more than 100 of these stores in Turkey before the end of this year," he stated.
He also said that most importantly, the firm will train staff for experienced labor force in smartphone production, which is important for the high-tech production in the country.
Travel Xue, vice chairman of Salcomp, said his firm was active in China, India and South America, adding: "Now, we are in Turkey, I am very excited with this extension."
He said the firm aims to bring its modern technology to the local Turkish market.
– Turkey, right place for investors
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Xiaomi's investment in Turkey was not a surprising move.
Turkey is the right place for investors, manufacturers and exporters, she said in a video message.
Recalling that Turkey offers significant supports and incentives for companies, she stressed that thanks to these supports the country will continue to be an attraction center for international investors.
Xiaomi will be an important stakeholder in the Turkish economy, she added.
Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank also sent a video message, calling Xiaomi's investment a “milestone” for making Turkey a global mobile phone production base.
It will make a significant contribution to the Turkish economy, he asserted.
In the post-pandemic era, regional trade and proximity to the supply sources are very important, he said, adding that global technology firms' investment decisions are a result of Turkey's supports and incentives.
Oppo, another Chinese mobile phone producer, has started production in Turkey recently.
– Turkey to become global production hub
Mehmet Fatih Kacir, deputy industry and technology minister, said Xiaomi's investment was a result of steps taken by Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and the Investment Office of the Turkish Presidency.
While around 12 million mobile phones are sold in Turkey annually, only a little part of them are produced locally, he said at the opening ceremony.
Kacir pointed out that Turkey is a base for production from many fields globally, citing that it was the largest iron/steel producer in the EU and seventh in the world last year.
Multinational firms aim to diversify production sites and create alternative production bases, he said, adding, it is inevitable that Turkey will become a significant production hub in the world.
He stressed that Xiaomi will probably increase its operations in Turkey in the coming period.
Omer Fatih Sayan, deputy transport and infrastructure minister, said Turkey has an important potential in the technology field thanks to its young population and provides important facilities for technology firms that seek to invest in Turkey.
He said Xiaomi's factory will improve the country's technological infrastructure.
Omer Abdullah Karagozoglu, head of Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority, said Turkey is an attraction center with its geographical position and dynamic labor force for international companies.
Major companies look for stakeholders to improve their competitive power and Turkey offers opportunities at this point, he said.