E-commerce giant Amazon recently held a meeting with Turkish footwear manufacturers as it eyes investments in Turkey's footwear industry.
Süleyman Gürsoy, a board member of the Footwear Industrialists Association of Turkey (TASD), said: "We gave the names of 40 local manufacturers that fulfill Amazon's requirements. It will meet with these companies."
He said Amazon is the third-biggest footwear seller in the U.S. If all goes well shoes made in Turkey will go on sale on Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce platform with more than $176 billion in annual sales.
Gürsoy added that the global footwear trade amounts to more than $155 billion, with China claiming the largest share. "Turkey wants to claim a share of $1 billion from this market in the short term," he said.
He said that Turkey made $769 million in footwear exports last year. Around 80 percent of Turkey's footwear exports went to Iraq, Russia and Germany.
He pointing out the need to boost industrial production in Turkey. "The biggest consumer countries and global brands in the U.S. and Germany have production lines in countries like China, Indonesia and Cambodia. Each facility can produce up to 150,000 pairs of shoes every day," he said.
Gürsoy said that there is not a single factory in Turkey with that kind of capacity.
"Export figures could be taken further if we can expand industrial production. Our goal this year is to take exports to $1 billion.
"Currently, Turkey produces 380-400 million pairs annually. The local market consumes 200 million pairs and exports the remaining 180 million," Gürsoy said.
He added that the per kilogram export value for shoes is around $3.5-$4. "The fact that this figure is not so high because slippers hold a significant share in our exports. Footwear exports should be at least $3 billion until 2023," he said.
The TASD board member said that footwear exports for the first four months of this year reached $368 million, 24.9 percent more than the same period of 2017.
He said that during this period footwear exports to Russia rose from $22.3 million to $59.8 million with an increase of 167 percent.
"Russia accounted for around 16.2 percent of Turkey's footwear exports in first four months of this year," he said.
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