Turkish apparel exports to top record $20B as Europe eyes more imports

The Turkish ready-to-wear industry expects exports to be over $20 billion this year, with sales seen jumping 15% in 2022, a sector official said, as European markets eyed more imports from Turkey.

“European brands are looking at Turkey due to problems in the supply chain, increased freight and logistics costs,” said Mustafa Gültepe, head of the Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB).

“We are receiving intense orders. The ready-to-wear sector will break a record this year with more than $20 billion worth of exports,” Gültepe said.

He added that the sector eyed a 15% increase next year and looked to achieve sales worth around $23 billion.

The disruptions that the pandemic has caused in the global economy, including in supply chains across continents, have prompted many global fashion retailers to consider turning away from low-cost manufacturing hubs in Asia. Some have announced they would be shifting their production to Turkey.

Straddling Europe and the Middle East, Turkey says it is well placed to benefit from changes to global supply chains, and its strategic location and strong manufacturing base are seen as a plus.

“There is a major opportunity ahead for Turkey and our ready-to-wear sector, given the disruptions in the supply chains and the fact that global brands are preferring to purchase from nearby regions,” Gültepe said.

Thanks to the major interest, he stressed the industry has achieved a big jump in exports for the first time in seven years.

“We reached $18.4 billion in 11 months.We will renew our export record of $18.7 billion set in 2014 by raising it to over $20 billion this year. We will contribute $18 billion to closing our country’s current account deficit,” said Gültepe.

If problems such as access to raw materials and financing for new investments are overcome, Gültepe sees no obstacles to achieving the $23 billion foreign sales goal next year.

“In the medium term, we are working hard to bring our country to the top of the global league with exports of $33 billion.”


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