The ready-to-wear and textile industries have significantly contributed to closing Turkey’s foreign trade deficit in 2018 by giving a trade surplus of 15.6 billion dollars.
The ‘Domestic Property and Turkish Textile’ panel was organized at the Aegean Region Chamber of Industry under the coordination of the Aegean Clothing Manufacturers Association (EGSD) in commemoration of the 96th anniversary of the İzmir Economic Congress. Aegean Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters Association (EHKİB) Chairman Burak Sertbaş, EHKİB and Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) Vice Chairman Toygar Narbay attended the panel.
Speaking at the panel moderated by EGSD 11th Chairman of the Presidency Atınç Abay, EHKİB President Burak Sertbaş recalled that the ready-to-wear industry realized exports of 17.6 billion dollars, while the textile industry 8.5 billion dollars, for a total of 26 billion dollars in 2018. Sertbaş said that the ready-to-wear industry realized imports of 1.7 billion dollars and the textile industry realized imports of 7.5 billion dollars. Sertbaş; “The two sectors gave a trade surplus of 15.6 billion dollars at a time that Turkey had a 55 billion dollars foreign trade deficit. We are very proud of this. Turkish textile and ready-to-wear industries are industries that contribute greatly to employment with all domestic inputs. These two sectors will continue to produce, to provide employment and to export for this country for many years to come”.
Burak Sertbaş highlighted the severe contraction in the domestic market in Turkey. Therefore companies need to direct themselves to exports in order to survive the recession with minimal damage. Sertbaş also noted his observations of domestic companies looking for new avenues of ‘How to become an exporter?’.
Narbay; “Our aim for 2030 is 30 billion dollars of exports”
EHKİB and Turkey Clothing Manufacturers’ Association (TGSD) Vice Chairman Toygar Narbay recalled the Turkish ready-to-wear industry’s exports journey. Narbay stated that ready-to-wear exports; which was 4 million dollars in 1970, reached 17.6 billion dollars at the end of 2018. Details are as follows; “The journey, which started with 4 million dollars of exports in 1970; reached 1.2 billion dollars in 1985; 6 billion dollars between 1985 and 2000 and 15 billion dollars in 2015. If we approach the industry on a 15 yearly basis; the target of the industry is 30 billion dollars for the fourth 15 years from 2015 to 2030”.
Pointing out to Turkey’s average export price of 1.5 dollars per kilogram; Narbay told that this figure has reached 18 dollars in the apparel industry; and added that the apparel industry rose to a position that sells designs in exports.
“Organic product usage is a way of life”
Informing that she started her professional life in 1997; EHKİB Vice President Seray Seyfeli said that they turned to organic textile in line with customer demands after 2000. Seyfeli; “When we first started, I thought of organic textile as a sales model. We found that organic is not a sales model. In other words; a lifestyle . It’s a protest lifestyle”.
Seyfeli pointed out that we should focus on production that does not harm human and nature; through the usage of technology. Seyfeli; “Denmark warms up a city by burning its waste; we can create a value chain by producing value-added products from recycled products. Today, France has launched a program that will remove chemical spraying and fertilization in four years. We must act responsively to human health and the environment”.