Istanbul's textile commercial neighborhood Laleli, which was negatively affected by tensions between Turkey and Russia after the 2015 jet-downing incident along with the economic crisis in Russia, has once again started to host Russian purchasing delegations, Turkish daily Dünya reported.
The Laleli Fashion Shopping Festival, which will be held for the seventh time in 2018, will be welcoming purchasing delegations from Russia for the first time after five years.
Two hundred businesspeople from four countries, Poland, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, will partake in the festival to kick off on Aug. 6.
The plan is to export $7 billion within the scope of the event this year.
Speaking at the introductory meeting of the festival, Laleli Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (LASIAD) Chairman Giyasettin Eyyüpkoca said Laleli, which accommodates more than 7,000 businesses, is a gateway for Istanbul's trade opening to the world, adding there is very large trade potential in the region, especially in the apparel and tourism sectors. "Laleli closed 2017 with $5.8 billion in exports. Of course, we can do much more. This year we will host more than 200 buyers from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Kazakhstan," Eyyüpkoca said. "We laid down having at least 10 stores in their countries as a condition for our buyers. There will be thousands of B2B meetings between our 40 manufacturers and buyers."
He also noted that they made a good start in 2018. "While Turkey's total exports in the first half of the year increased by 7.4 percent, we achieved a 30 percent increase over the same period. In the January-June period, exports from Laleli reached more than $3.5 billion," Eyyüpkoca added.
"The current trend will continue in the coming months. We will close 2018 with an export figure of around $7 billion with links to be established at our festival. Laleli reached the highest export volume in 2014 with $6 billion. We're doing our best to exceed the $10 billion mark by 2023."