Turkey, already considered exemplary for its policies in the region and its economy for nations in crisis, has now become a model country for its growing textile sector.
One of Asia's strongest ready wear markets Sri Lanka is now using Turkey as an example. Coming in after China, India and Bangladesh as the continent's strongest textile manufacturers, the Sri Lankan government has set an export target of five billion dollars for the year 2015. The ready wear market provides jobs for 15 percent of the entire nation's labor force. The Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association-SLAEA has decided to follow the Turkish model in order for the sector to soar.
According to SLAEA Executive Board Chairman Rohan Abeykoon, Turkey's textile industry has shown development that could be used as a model throughout the world, a model, he says, that will bring success to Sri Lanka.
"MORE EXPENSIVE THAN US"
Abeykoon explains that even though Turkey's costs in the sector are high and in fact three times that of Sri Lanka, the fact that their products are high quality is what has brought them so much success. The success Turkey has achieved in their textile products has now reached a lesson-giving level.
When one looks at small and medium-sized firms you see that the secret to Turkey's success are certain characteristics we do not have. Turkey stands out in terms of innovation, strong service, reliability, quality and delivery. By adhering to this model, we could realize five billion dollars in exports."
With a population of 21 million and an economy reaching 127 billion dollars, Sri Lanka's textile market is one of the most significant export items for the nation. Out of the nation's total industrial production, 39 percent is in the textile sector, while when it comes to exports, the textile sector makes up 43 percent.
The majority of the firms in operation in Sri Lanka work for U.S. or European companies such as Gap, Marks and Spencer, Nike and Victoria's Secret. The biggest firm operating in Sri Lanka called Mas Intimates employs nearly 16,000 people. Yet another producer Brandix has 25,000 staff. Out of the 800 textile companies operating in the nation, the total number of women employed in the sector has reached approximately 350,000.
FROM HEALTH TO FINANCE
Turkey is not only a model in the textile sector, it is also currently acting as a model in a variety of sectors spanning from finance to health tourism in many different countries. Northern Iraq has contacted Turkey for an initiatives system, Azerbaijan for banking and Egypt in order to form the infrastructure of their stock exchange. Meanwhile, a committee from the Dubai Health Authority has also been paying visits to hospitals throughout Istanbul in order to obtain information on health tourism.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Kerim Ülker.