Thursday, January 6, 2011
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The Arab Contractors, an Egyptian-based leading construction company in the Middle East and Africa, plans to import all its construction materials from Turkey, according to a Turkish sector official.
“The company has a total business volume of nearly $3 billion and expects to import Turkish construction materials worth nearly $1.5 billion this year,” Orhan Turan, chairman of the Association of Turkish Building Material Producers, or İMSAD, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday.
Ibrahim Mahlab, the chief executive of The Arab Constructors, also known as Osman Ahmed Osman & Co., has said the Egyptian construction giant is seriously interested in purchasing all its construction materials from Turkey starting this year, Turan told the Daily News.
The chief executive and board members of the Egyptian company visited Turkey last week and had a series of meeting with the executives of İMSAD in Istanbul, he said.
Talking to the Daily News at the association’s press meeting in Istanbul, Turan said the company had been globally ranked 10th in hospital construction, 17th in wastewater treatment and schools, 22nd in building bridges, 24th in sport buildings and 25th in water pipeline networks according to Engineering News-Record, or ENR, a worldwide construction weekly magazine.
The company was 88th in the magazine’s list of the top 225 global constructors last year.
The Arab Contractors was established in 1955 by Osman Ahmed Osman, an entrepreneur and politician who served as Egypt's housing minister under the late Anwar Sadat.
The company helped construct the Aswan Dam, a giant project on the river Nile to provide the country electricity.
The Arab Contractors also took part in the building of the Bibliotheca Alexandria.
The company sponsors a football team, The Arab Contractors Sporting Club, which plays at the Osman Ahmed Osman Stadium, built by its sponsor.
The company’s construction projects extend to African, Asian and European countries.
Turan said a group of Turkish construction companies had scheduled a visit to Egypt at the end of this month to discuss further details and sign business agreements.
“This is very important for the Turkish construction sector, which had a great 2010 with nearly 15 percent growth,” Turan said.
Booming construction sector
“The production capacity of the industry has reached $68.1 billion,” Turan said, adding that the Turkish construction sector grew by 15 percent in 2010.
“We expect an average growth rate of nearly 13.6 percent in the next five years in the Turkish construction sector,” Turan said. According to him, the growth in gross domestic product will reach nearly 5 percent in Turkey over the same period.
Turkey’s foreign trade surplus exceeded $11.5 billion in 2010, and its total export volume reached $18.7 billion, but the total export volume still remains below 2008’s export volume of $24.3 billion.
The leading countries importing construction materials from Turkey are Iraq, Egypt, Libya, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Algeria, Germany and Iran, Turan said. These eight countries account for nearly 45 percent of Turkey’s total exports volume in the field.
The association foresees a growth rate of 12.8 percent in the number of projects until 2015, reaching a total business volume of $40.4 billion.