Turkey's furniture industry with its very high locality ratio has exceeded the export targets for 2018, hitting $3.14 billion with a 14 percent year-on-year increase, according to Ahmet Güleç, the chairman of the Federation of Furniture Associations (MOSFED).
Güleç said that they had also broken a record last year with their export-oriented sustainable growth strategy.
"Our export target for 2018 was $3 billion at the beginning of the year," he said. "Our industry with the current account surplus continues to boosts exports, with a serious localization rate. By exporting furniture to some 177 countries, we bring a major foreign exchange input to our country."
Güleç said the sector has achieved a significant rise in exports, compared to $2.76 billion in 2017.
He added that while Turkey's overall exports grew by 7.1 percent throughout the year, furniture exports grew by almost twice the average, at almost 14 percent. According to Güleç, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Israel, Germany, Qatar, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, France, and the U.S. were the leading destinations for Turkish furniture.
He underlined that they will be more active in exports thanks to the continuity of a value-added tax (VAT) discount in the domestic market.
"Our furniture export target for 2019 is $3.75 billion, with an increase of nearly 20 percent. In addition, our target in the export of furniture, paper and forestry products, which has exceeded $5 billion, is $6 billion," Güleç, who is also the chairman of Istanbul Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters Association, added.
He said that the target in the exports of furniture, paper and forestry products was at $5 billion at the beginning of the year, and this target was exceeded to reach $5.02 billion at the end of the year.
"These figures prove that we shoulder a responsibility for Turkey becoming one of the top 10 exporting countries in the world in the next five years," he said.
Güleç stated that Turkish furniture, paper and forestry product exports grew by 12.8 percent in 2018, and added that Istanbul Furniture, Paper and Forestry Products Exporters Association broke a record with a growth rate of 15.9 percent.
"We have been implementing specific projects to grow our sector with all the stakeholders. Our goal is to see that the national economy grows with our industry in line with Turkey's 2023 vision goals," he added.
He explained that fairs and trade delegations play an active role in achieving export-oriented growth. Güleç said that they have been taking Turkish delegations to fairs around the world.
Güleç also noted that Iraq, the U.K., Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Germany, Georgia, Greece and Azerbaijan-Nakhchivan were the top 10 export destinations for Turkish furniture, paper and forestry product exports.