Japan Tobacco International to invest USD $200 million Turkey..

January 16, 2009 - The Turkish unit of Japan Tobacco International (JTI), plans to invest $200 million between 2009-2011, the company's general manager Bilgehan Anlas said on Wednesday. JTI is one of the 50 largest private companies operating in Turkey. Turkey is the world's eighth-biggest cigarette market, with Turks smoking 103 billion cigarettes a year.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, JTI Turkey General Manager Bilgehan Anlaş said they expected to overcome the negative effects of the ongoing global financial crisis with further incentives for customers. Underlining that JTI has long been an investor in Turkey, Anlaş said the company wants to begin new, innovative projects and invest long term in the country, an offensive move against the problems thrown up by the crisis. He said in a statement the company aimed to increase its tax payments to $2.1 billion in 2009 from $1.7 billion last year.

Regarding the company's 2008 performance and expectations for 2009, he said JTI Turkey had grown in 2008 despite the financial turmoil. JTI produces the Camel, Winston and Monte Carlo cigarette brands for the Turkish market. The company participated in the tender for the privatization of the tobacco division of Turkey's alcohol and tobacco monopoly TEKEL last year but failed to win. February 2008 British American Tobacco paid $1.7 billion for Tekel, giving it 36 percent of the cigarette market in Turkey.

Turkey's ban on pubic smoking went into effect on Monday, May 19, 2008..

Euromonitor: More - Tobacco in Turkey.

References: TURKEY: Japanese Tobacco to Invest USD 200 mln in Turkey, TZ, SEEurope, 1/15/2009;
RPT-JTI Turkey says to invest $200 mln over three years
,, Yahoo News - Reuters, 1/15/2009