Turkiye's engineering, consultancy and architecture companies have undertaken overseas projects worth $2.9 billion as of the end of September, an international forum heard Friday.
The companies have provided services in 131 countries for 2,510 different projects," Irfan Aker, president of the Association of Turkish Consulting Engineers and Architects (ATCEA), said at the 8th International Engineering Forum.
The event was organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and the Federation of Consultants from Islamic Countries (FCIC) under the theme of Reconstruction Challenges/Opportunities Post War and Disaster and Human Resources Challenges Faced by Technical Consultancy Firms.
Praising Türkiye's successes in build-operate-transfer and public-private partnerships projects in which ATCEA members provide services as lenders’ technical assistance for the concession projects before financial close, during construction as well as in operation phase, Aker said: "I am proud to say that we have six firms from Türkiye ranked in the first 225 in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list,"
Aker said prevailing supply shortages, increasing worries about inflation and an increased frequency of globally disruptive events such as the war in Ukraine meant that the degree to which project demand will develop is somewhat difficult to foresee.
"The three core drivers; digitalization, harmonization and sustainability will impact the whole industry, which presents both challenges and opportunities for incumbent engineering consultants," he said.
Aker noted that digitalization will be a key enabler to boost and diffuse disciplines of architecture, engineering and construction industry.
Munis Ozer, chairman of the International Technical Consultancy Business Council at DEIK, said the council aims to create new business opportunities in the defined target countries for Turkish technical consultancy firms.
Ozer stressed the event will discuss the effect of war and disaster on technical consultancy services and human resources challenges faced by technical consultancy firms.
Mohamed Abdelrahman, head of FCIC, said the event would provide a platform for consulting firms and members of the engineering community to address how to deal with the challenges during the post-war period.
He said FCIC represents one of the largest consulting practice groups in the world from Far Eastern Asia to Western Africa to the Middle East.
"Our members have been serving this market in a very challenging environment and challenging engineering difficulties," he said.
Aamir Ghani Mir, Manager Project Procurement Division at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, highlighted the importance of consulting and engineering services in national and international development.
Pointing to the Russia-Ukraine war, Mir said the services sector is required to be innovative and resilient in finding opportunities in crisis.
Mir said consulting services, especially in Islamic countries, are lagging in adopting advancements and the growing gap is worrisome.
"Focused efforts are needed to catch up and adopt new technologies, developing cutting edge human resources and consider new imperatives including climate-friendly, green and sustainable solutions that are in demand," he added.
Murat Nesimoglu, Head of the Department of Overseas Construction and Engineering Consultancy of the Turkish Trade Ministry, said engineering consultancy plays a vital role in the enhancement of our living conditions.
Pointing to the economic challenges the world is facing such as the Russia-Ukraine war, Nesimoglu said confidence in the global economic system was shaken deeply.
Nesimoglu underlined that Türkiye plays "a critical and constructive role" by supporting Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity and maintaining diplomatic dialog with Russia to end the war.
"The postponed projects may create a boom in the sector after the war. Especially Ukraine needs new quality infrastructure and some of them are urgent. I believe that FCIC members will take part in the reconstruction of Ukraine," he noted.
Nesimoglu highlighted that the world needs better and greener infrastructure and systems, especially in areas devasted by earthquakes, floods, droughts and wildfires.
"We have to make sure that our buildings, infrastructure and communities are able to withstand the current and future impact of disasters and climate change," he said, underlying the importance of expertise of technical consultancy companies and the use of new technologies.
"There is a lot of work to be done. I hope that governments can effectively allocate budget for these matters," he said.
Nesimoglu pointed out that governments should invest more in the education and training of engineers to improve the quality of solutions.