Ayşen Esen, CEO of Istanbul Gold Refinery, one of the top 10 refineries in the world's top 68 gold refineries, accredited by the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association), told that Istanbul can be the center of the world gold trade.
We conducted an interview about Turkey's place in the global jewellery market with Ayşen Esen, CEO of Istanbul Gold Refinery, which has become one of the most important companies in the precious metals industry not only in Turkey but also in the whole world.
How can you evaluate the Turkish jewellery industry ?
- Turkey is quite a big market with a population of 80 million. The size of the domestic market is over $ 10 billion. The annual exports of the sector, together with sales in the tourist regions, approach $ 7 billion. There are 30 thousand stores and 5 thousand production companies in Turkey and more than 1000 of these manufacturers are located in the biggest production center, Kuyumcukent.
Where does Istanbul Gold Refinery stand in this frame?
- Turkey is located in the center of the jewellery industry, and we assume the role of being locomotive for the development of the sector. We are in the heart of the industry trade. A very important part of the gold processed in the sector is refined in our facilities and again entered into the production system of thousands of companies in the sector. At the same time, Gram Gold, which produced in our facilities is sold in thousands of stores. We are the largest 16th industrial establishment. We became Turkey's largest gold exporter in 2018. Our other brand Gram Gold, became the third firm that having made the highest endorsement increase. Gram Gold rose to the position of Turkey's largest 146 industrial establishments.
We also assume an important task for Turkey's economy
Not only in the jewellery industry, IAR also plays a very important role in Turkey's economy. In Turkey, people practice economy with their savings in gold. About 5000 tons of gold are waiting outside the economy. The precursor contributor who contribute to that economic value to Turkey's economy is Istanbul Gold Refinery. We have made tons of gold entered to the economy in cooperation with Turkish banks. In addition to describing gold as a financial instrument, we are the company that offers economic management as an economic policy tool. The gold-based lease certificate and the gold-based bond practices are some of the projects that we offer to our government.
Under which stages had IAR undergone since it had been founded?
Istanbul Gold Refinery was established in 1996 by the government with the contribution of The Under secretariat of Treasury and Istanbul Gold Exchange. In 2002, we bought majority shares of this company. Some of our shares are still owned by the state. We became the first official gold refinery firm in the list of gold refineries of the Under secretariat of Treasury. In 2007, we became members of the Dubai Gold Exchange, the heart of gold trade. In 2011, we were able to enter the Union of London Bullion Markets (LBMA) in the World's Best Refineries List. We are now ranked amongst the 68 largest companies in the world within the “Good Delivery List”. We are the first and only company that its products are accepted by COMEX in Turkey. Furthermore, we are accredited by institutions such as DMCC and IPMI. Gold from all around the world is being refined in our facilities.
Cooperation with Real Madrid
We are also one of the world's largest manufacturers of micro-ingot gold. Various weights of gold bullions and silvers produced in our facilities are demanded from all over the world. We are also signing important collaborations on this issue. We have partnerships with many giant brands, including Real Madrid.
What position does IAR have in the world in the field of gold refinery?
- We have made a great progress and I think we're going to make more. Because Turkey has very important advantages. The role of Turkish Airlines, our geographical location, the acceptance of our facilities around the world, these are very important factors. For example, gold from a mine in Canada can be delivered to our facilities on the same day thanks to Turkish Airlines. These gold coins can be purchased after refined with the world's highest quality standards in our facilities with LBMA certification or can be sent back to Canada with THY the next day.We are in a distance that lasts less than a day from every point of the world. As a global company, our country and IAR's location, our central position and being one of the world's most recognized refineries, the whole world is now our target market. In this context, From India to America and from the Far East to Europe; all countries, refineries and precious metal companies, which comply with the principles of Responsible Sourcing make up our target market.