Turkish Ceramic Federation General Assembly Delegates elected Erdem Cenesiz as the chairman for the third time and proven their trusts. Indicating that they have been through busy times last period despite the pandemic, Cenesiz told about his plans for the next period. And EU Green Deal takes the first place among the foremost subjects.
FATMA BATUKAN BELGE
You are unanimously elected as the TSF Chairman for the third time. First of all, we want to say congratulations to you. I took the time and weigh the Activity Report including the activities of the last period, it was nearly 2,5 kilograms. You have been through busy times despite the pandemic. Will the 2021-2023 period also be as much busy as this?
Thank you very much. Unfortunately, we face a virus that took hold of the whole world and led us to make radical changes in our life. But we know that we have to work and keep going despite everything. And we did so and quickly adopted the new order. We re-considered our circumstances and re-arranged our working conditions according to the new situation. We know that we no longer can get back to old and thus strive with being aware that we always have to look ahead. Together with our esteemed General Assembly members and our general secretary, regardless of the conditions of the pandemic, we did both our domestic and foreign contacts in online environment and endeavor to do useful things for the sake of our industry.
We hope it will be a period where more activities we can do, more production we can make, more often we get into contact and best global markets we can get into that will put our industry to better places in all over the world.
What are the most important subjects in your agenda for the next period?
We have got many subjects, let me talk about the foremost ones in brief. As you know there’s this EU Green Deal concern, we will have preparations on this. We will have researches and studies on EU Damping Investigation possibility. We will again have researches and studies on USA Damping Investigation possibility also. Natural gas policies are an important issue for us, MKGKO Legislation Studies are also a matter of same amount of importance. Our technical staff trainings will continue to bring in new talents to our industry, become a larger family and make our goals real. We will have studies to develop UNICERA Fair, our most important fair.
Could you tell us a bit about EU Green Deal? What kind of changes will the ceramic industry have with this in case?
You know EU designates sectors with high green gas emissions and make improvements. These industries are determined as energy, building, industry and transportation. It started with the Paris Agreement approved in Paris in December 2015. An agreement which emphasizes the importance of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees. In order to put this agreement in force countries had be parties to this agreement. Correspondingly, EU commission have put in force the consensus they called the European Green Deal as a new strategy in 2019. The goal is to reduce the green gas amount by up to %50-55 until 2030. The route map has been determined by EU to prevent carbon runaway. With carbon at limit implementation, it will be a very compelling situation for sectors exporting, particularly the ones exporting to EU market. Ceramic industry is not ready for it yet and not only the Turkish ceramic industry but the industry in all over the world. World has to find out a model of production without carbon. Ceramic industry is one of those exceptional industries until 2025. It's a matter we should concern in mid-term and we will be in preparation for cooperation.
You said there's this possibility of a damping investigation to Turkey from EU and USA. Is this a strong possibility, could it be forestalled?
Unfortunately, yes, there's such a possibility according to the information we heard. To our regret, it can be suspicious that our prices are going down while the prices in all over the world are going up. We especially got the information that EU will open an anti-damping investigation on ceramic coating materials. If the export price will be kept under the necessary, there will be a company-wise execution. And this will do harm to our country. Our priority should be price upscaling in export by taking other countries' export prices as base. These kinds of issues are being carried out by the Ministry of Commerce General Directorate of Exportation and we as the federation will be working in touch with them.
What's the strongest side of the Turkish ceramic sector?
Turkish ceramic sector has significant advantages compared to other countries. It's a sector with wide product variety and cheap labor opportunities.
And what's its' most fragile side?
One of the weakest points of it, is high energy costs and together with it the increasing transportation costs due to product weights, the poor quality product image in global market, the foreign-source dependency in machine technology (though this is diminishing after domestic machinery production), the insufficient number of intermediate staff educated in the sector, the inadequate raw material exploration works and the mis-use of raw material.