Taking firm steps towards accession to the European Union, Turkey endeavours to align with the EU legislation, to reach the fundamental standards of EU and to adopt its economic and social values. Achieving targets towards accession to the European Union also brings along significant economic, political and social reforms.
The instrument for pre-accession assistance (abbreviated as IPA) is the financial assistance agreement between Turkey and the European Union that supports this reform process. The first phase of this financial assistance, which is planned as seven-year periods, has ended in 2013.
The Competitive Sectors Programme under IPA, technically called "the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme (RCOP)", has been implemented in the first period covering 2007 - 2013. In this period, 480 million Euro fund has been entrusted to the management of our Ministry and including the Turkish Government contribution a total of 565 million Euro budget has been transferred to the relatively less developed 43 provinces of our country, in the framework of the priorities set for the manufacturing and tourism sectors.
Via Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme (RCOP), various types of support were provided to the provinces with less than 75% national income when compared to the average in Turkey and to the sectors that are important in regional economy. In this period, the aim was to enhance competitiveness of enterprises and decrease economic disparities among regions.
Selection and development processes of these projects, which provides different types of support in different regions of the country, were completed by 2013. Most of the projects have been completed.
In the first period of the Competitive Sectors Programme, projects were supported in 8 different activities under 3 key priority areas.
Priority: Improvement of Business Environment
1. Development of industrial infrastructure,
2. Creation and development of financing instruments,
3. Improvement of R&D, innovation, technology and ICT environment and infrastructure,
4. Improvement of tourism infrastructure, promotion and marketing activities in these areas.
Priority: Strengthening of Enterprise Capacity and Foster Entrepreneurship
5. Providing basic information and consultancy support for enterprises,
6. Strengthening cooperation amongst various sectors key to the industry.
Priority: Technical Assistance
7. Support to the preparation, management, implementation, monitoring, control and evaluation of the Operational Programme
8. Publicity, Information and Promotion of the Programme.
520 million Euro funding was provided to 46 projects that have been supported under the first phase of the Competitive Sectors Programme.
In the first period of the Programme, the projects were awarded to respond to the needs of the target regions and sectors. Projects investing in establishment of facilities for the common use of SMEs and Entrepreneurs, licensed warehouses, laboratories and R&D centres, as well as projects adding a higher value to tourism infrastructure and promotion activities, and projects generating financial instruments for the use of SMEs and entrepreneurs were financed.
Main achievements of these projects can be summarized as follows:
• 3 Techno parks with 22,4 Million Euro budget
• 4 laboratories and research centres with 38 Million Euro budget
• 9 common use facilities with 78 Million Euro budget
• 10 Business Development Centres with 9 projects and 65 Million Euro budget
• 3 licensed warehouses with 28,8 Million Euro budget
• Samsun Logistics Centre with 50 million Euro investment
• 3 Financial Instrument Project
– Turkey's first regional venture capital fund with a 20 million Euro budget
– Turkey's first regional credit guarantee mechanism with 60 million Euro investment and 1 billion Euro volume
– Turkey's first two risk capital funds for R&D and commercialization activities with 50 million Euro budget
• 5 tourism projects with 36,5 million Euro budget
• 3 clustering projects are implemented with 11 Million Euro budget.
• 4 Capacity Building Projects including 2 project for the with a budget of 36,5 million Euro.
The Competitive Sectors Programme has provided 520 million Euro to 46 projects out of 565 million Euro total budget allocated for the programme in the first phase.