The Relationship Imports and Exports in Free Zones Have with Türkiye’s Foreign Trade and Employment: The Fourier Autoregressive Distributive Lag (ADL) Hidden Cointegration TestMüge Seda Ateş, Gizem Ateş, Demet Toktaş, Esra Canpolat Gökçe
Free zones, which are implemented as a development policy on the basis of the objectives of increasing exports, investments, and employment, facilitating imports, contributing to domestic production, ensuring technology transfer, and balancing regional differences, are special areas where tax advantages are offered to companies. The aim of this study is to investigate the level of contribution of firms supported by tax advantages in Türkiye’s free zones to Türkiye’s foreign trade and employment and to investigate the relationship between these variables. Within this framework, data compiled for monthly periods between 2013.01-2022.05 were used. The Fourier ADL hidden cointegration test was conducted by constructing 7 different models with the identified variables. In the study, it is reported that the contribution of free zones import-export with tax advantages to Türkiye’s foreign trade and employment mechanism is weak. In this framework, it has been tried to present policy recommendations for taxation, foreign trade, and employment based on the principles of both integrating free zones into international trade and achieving a more collaborative, innovative, and qualified structure to eliminate regional differences in local economies.
Serbest Bölgelerdeki İthalat-İhracat ile Türkiye’nin Dış Ticaret ve İstihdam İlişkisi: Fourier ADL Saklı Eşbütünleşme TestiMüge Seda Ateş, Gizem Ateş, Demet Toktaş, Esra Canpolat Gökçe
İhracatı, yatırımları ve istihdamı artırmak, ithalatı kolaylaştırmak, yerli üretime katkı sunmak, teknoloji transferini sağlamak, bölgesel farklılıkları dengelemek hedefleri temelinde kalkınma politikası olarak uygulanan serbest bölgeler firmalara vergisel avantajların sunulduğu özel alanlardır. Bu çalışmanın amacı, Türkiye’nin serbest bölgelerinde vergisel avantajlarla desteklenen firmaların Türkiye’nin dış ticaretine ve istihdamına ne düzeyde katkı sağladığını ve bu değişkenler arasındaki ilişkiyi araştırmaktır. Bu çerçevede 2013.01-2022.05 yılları arasında aylık dönemler için derlenen veriler kullanılmıştır. Belirlenen değişkenlerle 7 farklı model kurularak Fourier ADL saklı eşbütünleşme testi yapılmıştır. Çalışmada vergisel avantajlara sahip serbest bölgeler ithalatihracatının, Türkiye’nin dış ticaret ve istihdam mekanizmasına katkısının zayıf olduğu görülmüştür. Bu çerçevede serbest bölgelerin hem uluslararası ticarete entegrasyonunun sağlanması hem de yerel ekonomide bölgesel farklılıklarının giderilmesi için daha iş birlikçi, yenilikçi ve nitelikli bir yapıya kavuşturulması ilkeleri temelinde vergisel, dış ticaret ve istihdama yönelik politika önerileri sunulmaya çalışılmıştır.
Free zones are areas that occur within the political borders of a country but outside of customs restrictions in terms of foreign trade, taxation, and duty tax. The advantages that accompany free zones come to the fore in countries that do not or only partially apply legal and administrative regulations and that have intense commercial activities. Free zones emerged within the policy of increasing participation in international trade and producing and exporting low-tech laborintensive goods and have also found application in Türkiye, as these zones are a fundamental tool for implementing Türkiye’s export-oriented industrialization strategy. Businesses in free zones, particularly export businesses, can actually have several advantages, including technological and physical infrastructure support, eased procedures, the option to use free zones as stockrooms (rather than having to sell products immediately), export-oriented subsidies, and tax exemptions. However, discussion frequently occurs around free zones’ impact on transit trade, human capital, and labor; the way it facilitates the entry of foreign capital into a country; and its effects on the transfer of new technology. The scope of this study addresses how successfully the free zone formations that emerged with the understanding of free international trade have acted to incentivize exports and employment by designing appropriate economic and commercial reforms. The aim of this study is to empirically investigate and evaluate the relationship imports and exports have with Türkiye’s foreign trade and employment by focusing on the companies that operate in free zones and enjoy many tax advantages, including exemptions from corporate tax, income tax, customs tax, value-added tax, and stamp tax. In this framework, the study establishes seven different models using the determined variables by focusing on the monthly periods between January 2013 and May 2022 and analyzes the models using the Fourier autoregressive distributive lag (ADL) hidden cointegration test. This study analyzes the variables in seven different models by dividing them into negative and positive components, thus aiming to reveal the relationships hidden among the variables. The econometric results the study obtained show exports in free zones and Türkiye’s industrial production to affect total exports in the same direction with regard to the positive components. While a similar relationship is observed between Türkiye’s total exports and free zones, increases in the exchange rate and the world industrial production index are seen to have negative long-term effects on exports in free zones. The model that attempts to explain employment in the context of the positive components is seen to conclude that changes in imports and exchange rates in free zones affect employment in the same direction. The models that analyze negative shocks are seen to conclude increases in total imports in free zones, the exchange rate, and Türkiye’s production index to also result in an increase in total imports. Free zones serve to increase production and employment by increasing the total investment volume in Türkiye’s economy and by developing commercial activities both at the national and international scales. In this regard, the study makes the following important suggestions: The efficiency of the tax incentive system in free zones should be supported by ensuring broad tax incentives in order to strengthen the technological and human infrastructures and by having a qualified workforce in order to develop high-tech production opportunities in these zones. Also, Türkiye should advance with regard to international trade, as well as determine and implement the appropriate fiscal policies. Currently, Türkiye lacks a legal framework for impeding free zones from maximizing their export potential. In order to make the free zones in Türkiye more effective at benefitting from its export potential, current legal decisions should be made to address the issues in this regard, and import-export management should be carried out in a planned manner in line with the needs.