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The Aegean Free Zone, which opened in 1990, is the first manufacturing-based modern free zone in Turkey. It also is the first Turkish free zone to be developed and operated by a private-sector company, ESBAS, the Aegean Free Zone Development and Operating Company. ESBAS is part of a privately owned U.S. company, called EAC International. Today, the Aegean Free Zone has attracted more foreign direct investment than any of the other 18 free zones in Turkey.
All infrastructure and superstructure investments, loading, unloading, transportation, labor procurement, food, landscaping, utilities and around the clock support services, including a fire truck and all other municipal services, are provided by ESBAS. The Aegean Free Zone is located on 2.5 million m² (620 acres) in Gaziemir, Izmir. The Zone is 4 km from the Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport, 12 km from the Port of Izmir and 1 km from major highways. Today there are 166 companies in the Aegean Free Zone, 88 domestic and 78 international. Total trade volume generated in 2019 was $4.2 billion USD, and the overall trade volume generated since the establishment of the Zone is $80 billion USD. The Aegean Free Zone provides employment for nearly 20,500 people. This accounts for one-third of the employment generated in all 18 free zones in Turkey.
Electronics, automotive parts, machinery manufacturing and assembly, aerospace and defense industry, information technologies, precision measuring devices, metal fasteners, textiles, food processing and packaging are among the predominant sectors in the Aegean Free Zone.