Trakya Region Economy
Studying distribution of production in Trakya Region by main sectors gives clues about the development of the Region. A vast majority of Trakya Region land consist of arable land. Even with this feature alone, Trakya has a unique potential when considering the other regions. However, only 11.5% of the total added value produced by Trakya is obtained from agriculture.
Trakya Region is the fourth most intensive industrial region in Turkey. The 32.8% added value share in 2004 increased to around 35% in 2008. Among the considerable causes of increase in the industrial production in the Region are abundant groundwater resources which give a significant cost advantage to sectors using water, proximity to OIZ and Free Zone's offering a good infrastructure and significant financial advantages.
Industrial production is vulnerable against the negative impact of global and local economic crises. Considering that a significant part of the products manufactured particularly in the Region are exported, how great the impact of the crises could be will be better understood; shifting the industrial production in Istanbul will further increase the intensity of the industry in the Region and will cause future impacts to be felt more strongly.
Three fundamental points should particularly be considered with regard to the industries in the Region:
A large part of the industry in the Region consists of firms with head offices in Istanbul and therefore paying their taxes in Istanbul.
Industrial production is a shelter in terms of employment, also for unemployed people and people who have drifted away from agriculture in Trakya as well as those from outside the region.
Unplanned development of industry in the Region caused contamination of natural resources in the Region and particularly the Ergene River and land in its basin, causing damage that can only be cured over a long-term.
Presence of industry in areas extending outside the Çorlu-Çerkezköy-Lüleburgaz triangle should also not be forgotten. Among industrial enterprises of the Region, apart from intensive industrial areas, are dairy products, vegetable oil plants, meat packing plants and agricultural industry based on similar plants in Edirne; winemaking plants in Şarköy and Uzunköprü; and farming equipment manufacturers in Hayrabolu. These industrial enterprises have the potential to undertake important roles in planning the development of the western part of the Region.
Though there is a tourism potential in Trakya in addition to the industry and agriculture, tourism in the Region has not become a sector as yet. Edirne, one of the previous capitals of the Ottomans; Kırklareli, hosting Demirköy where Mehmet the Conqueror cast his cannons; and Tekirdağ, where the house of Hungarian national hero Rakoczi lived is, along with its natural beauties and nature sports opportunities, are indicators of a potential tourism move in the Region. Adequate efficiency cannot be obtained from destinations with partly active tourism such as Şarköy, İğneada, Kıyıköy, Enez and Edirne due to reasons such as an underdeveloped tourism substructure, poor service quality and a lack of organization.
The service sector's share, including the tourism sector in the total added value of Trakya Region has approached 50%, just like in the entire world and in Turkey. It must be pointed out that this rate is around 60% in developed countries. That the added value of the service sector is around 50% level in total production and that it showed an increase in time indicates that the service sector in the Region has approached the desired level. However, visitors to the Region look out for the improvement of the quality of service sector in the Region.