Turkish apparel exporters have achieved a new milestone, reaching $14.8 billion in the first 10 months of the year. They now intend to reach a figure of $18 billion at the end of this year and $19 billion in 2019.
The ready-made clothing and apparel sector, which has assumed the role of pioneering the manufacturing industry, continues to export with value-added production, contribution to employment and exports, according to Istanbul Apparel Exporters' Association (İHKİB) Chairman Mustafa Gültepe.
Gültepe emphasized they increased their exports by 4.6 percent compared to the same period the previous year, adding the apparel sector realized 10.7 percent of Turkey's overall exports and 13.1 percent of industrial exports alone.
The İHKİB chairman said that they achieved the new leap in exports following a three-year stagnant period and reached $14.8 billion in exports in the first 10 months of the year. "We will reach $18 billion at the end of 2018. In 2019, on the other hand, we expect to exceed $19 billion," he added.
Pointing out that EU countries are the biggest market for the ready-to-wear and apparel sector, Gültepe said 71 percent of the sector's exports are realized to Europe in 10 months, while seven of the top 10 countries leading in exports are located within EU borders, spearheaded by Germany with $2.7 billion, Spain with $2.1 billion and Britain with $1.7 billion.
He highlighted that these three countries are followed by the Netherlands, France, Iraq, the U.S., Italy, Denmark and Israel, and that they increased exports to all 10 markets except Iraq.
It is noteworthy for the United States to be among the top 10 markets, with $503 million in exports, Gültepe said, indicating that they'll continue their multilateral efforts to raise exports to this country to $1.5 billion in a couple of years.
In relation to markets outside the top 10, Gültepe said they achieved a 48 percent increase in exports to Russia, one of Turkey's largest trading partners, followed by a 30 percent increase in exports to China, the world's largest ready-to-wear supplier.
"In the 10-month period, we achieved a very high export increase of 102.4 percent in Qatar," he added. "We raised our exports by 65 percent in Libya, 50 percent in Slovakia, 40 percent in Serbia, 35 percent in Egypt, 28 percent in Romania, 25 percent in Albania and 24 percent in Kazakhstan.
As can be seen from the data, we achieved a new leap in exports after a three-year stagnant period."