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Turkish President, Erdogan Approaches Elon Musk with Proposal for Tesla Factory

by Ikenna Ngere

According to Monday’s state-run media, Elon Musk was invited to Turkey by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to build his next Tesla plant in the country.

While in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly, Erdogan met with the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX on Sunday in New York. The two met in Manhattan’s Turkish House, a building close to the UN.

“Recalling that with the Turkish electric car Togg hitting the roads in Türkiye, Tesla entered the Turkish market, Erdogan called on Tesla to establish its seventh factory in Türkiye,” Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported, citing the country’s communications directorate.

Along with inviting Musk to Teknofest, the largest aviation, aerospace, and technology festival in Turkey, which will be held between late September and the end of October this year, Erdogan also offered partnership prospects with Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX and Turkey’s space programme.

According to Anadolu, Musk said that Turkey “is among the most important candidates” for his second facility and that several Turkish suppliers currently operate with Tesla.

Tesla presently has six manufacturing facilities and is adding a seventh in Mexico. By the end of the year, Musk predicted in May, he will likely choose a location for a new factory. According to reports, he has already discussed setting up a low-cost electric vehicle manufacturing facility in India with Indian government representatives.

The value of the company’s stock is up 123% so far this year.

Erdogan and Musk allegedly also spoke about working together on AI projects and Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service.

According to reports, Musk expressed interest in working with the Turkish government to secure the necessary permits so that Starlink may be used in the country with a population of 85 million.

In recent decades, Turkey has established itself as a significant manufacturing base at the nexus of Europe and Asia.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Turkey’s manufacturing sector increased from a 19% GDP share in 2012 to a 21% GDP share by the end of this year as part of its 2023 Industry and Technology Strategy.

Additionally, it strengthens intellectual property laws, supports entrepreneurs with state funding, and makes significant investments in technology firms and STEM education.

According to the department, 36% of Turkey’s industrial exports are medium-tech products, while 3% are high-tech products. By the end of 2023, Turkey wants to export 44% more medium-tech products than it imports, and 6% more high-tech products.

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