ESBAŞ, which develops and operates The Aegean Free Zone in Gaziemir district of Izmir, gears up for an investment in Bergama. ESBAŞ founded BASBAŞ (Western Anatolian Free Zone Development and Operating Co.) in 2019 to plant the seeds for the Western Anatolian Free Zone on an area of 2.5 million square meters in Aşağıkırıklar vicinity of Bergama. The feasibility report prepared by BASBAŞ, which obtained the permission of the Ministry of Trade, was submitted to the General Directorate of Free Zones Overseas Investment and Services. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in his speech to the public in Bergama in February, announced that the Western Anatolia Free Zone would be established. At the current stage, the President is expected to approve the project in a short time and the Ministry of Commerce to declare the area as a free zone.
TO BE COMPLETED IN 2022
ESBAS Executive Board Chairman Dr. Faruk Güler stated that after the completion of the process as described previously, BASBAŞ will start the infrastructure works of the Western Anatolia Free Zone and that these works will be completed by the beginning of 2022, and they aim to accept investors in Bergama. Emphasizing that everyone at the state level supports the Western Anatolia Free Zone, Güler said, “Despite the coronavirus pandemic, there has been no change in our plans for the project. Our studies show that; The Western Anatolia Free Zone will create job opportunities for approximately 20 thousand people. Since it is based on exports, it will have an annual export volume of approximately 2.5 billion dollars. It is aimed that very important domestic and foreign investments will come to the Western Anatolia Free Zone, which will be established on an intersection of sea, rail and road connections".
‘MOST CONVENIENT LOCATION’
Dr. Faruk Güler stated that the search for a place for the new free zone they will establish took 3 years, and Bergama was chosen as the suitable location during this period. Noting that the Izmir-Çanakkale Highway, Çandarlı Port, Aliağa ports and IZBAN projects make Bergama extremely important in terms of logistics, Dr. Faruk Güler said, “The region, especially Bergama, is changing. Investments started to come to Bergama Organized Industrial Zone. In addition, with the Dikili Specialized Agriculture-Based Organized Industrial Zone to be established in the region, modern agriculture will become a larger business area and many industrial facilities will come to Bergama together with BASBAŞ. The Aegean Free Zone has created a large economy with a trade volume of 4.4 billion dollars and exports of 2.2 billion dollars. We will establish the same ecosystem in Bergama.” Güler said that 100 thousand people will be employed in the North Aegean.
COVID-19 MEASURES CONTINUE AT ESBAŞ
ESBAŞ, which has survived the fight against coronavirus with zero cases thanks to the strict inspections and controls it has implemented, continues its Covid-19 measures in the normalization process, which started as of June 1st. With its 500 employees, ESBAŞ continues to provide services to 166 companies in the Aegean Free Zone, where 20,500 people are employed, and will continue to employ office workers from home on a rotating basis until 1 July. In the common areas within the region, social distance is maintained, and business is carried out in accordance with the mask and cleaning rules. ESBAS Executive Board Chairman Dr. Faruk Güler said, “Some companies operating in the region have taken measures with some practices such as the administrative leave of the personnel who are sensitive about health, the transition to work from home, and the use of the permits. We, with our crisis management team within our company, have been in constant communication with the government units and managers of the companies operating in our region in order to manage the process in a healthy way throughout the Aegean Free Zone.”