One of the biggest furniture exhibitions in the world, CNR İMOB International Istanbul Furniture Fair, kicked off Tuesday for the 16th time. It is estimated to generate around $2 billion in trade volume.
İsmail Gülle, the head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM), said in his address at the opening ceremony that the furniture sector's exports amounted to $3.5 billion in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 10.2%.
"The furniture sector's target is $10 billion for 2023; we are working toward this target," he noted. The sector enjoys a competitive structure and a high capacity in the global market, he added.
To support the domestic furniture industry, the Turkish government announced tax cuts on furniture earlier this month. Value-added tax (VAT) on furniture has been reduced to 8%, down from 18%.
Gülle underlined that the Turkish government always supports exporters and provides for their needs.
Turkey's exports reached an all-time high in 2019 crossing $180.46 billion, up by 2.04% year-on-year, according to TİM data. Imports dropped by 8.99% reaching $210.4 billion, while the foreign trade deficit decreased by 44.9% year-on-year from $54.3 billion to $29.9 billion.
Foreign trade made a record contribution of 4.7 points to the country's growth, the largest contribution in the last 18 years in Turkey. The export/import coverage ratio was 85.8% in 2019, up from 76.5% in 2018.
Gülle said the country aims to exceed $190 billion in exports in the year 2020. The country's exports, which were around $30 billion in 2000, increased to $180.5 billion last year, he noted.
Deputy Treasury and Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati said the furniture sector was one of the few net exporter sectors of the country.
Touching on economic issues in 2018 and 2019, he said Turkey recovered in areas like its currency rate, CDS risk premiums, interest rates, confidence index, foreign trade and Borsa Istanbul's benchmark stock index BIST 100. He underlined that "Turkey increased its exports while the global exports narrowed last year."
Furniture Associations (MOSFED) Chairman Ahmet Güleç said the industry aims to achieve $4.5 billion in foreign sales this year.
"We have the potential. Our aim is to become one of the world's five largest furniture exporters. We believe we will achieve this very soon," he added. Güleç emphasized that the use of local materials in furniture production exceeds 90%, adding that the industry posted a $3 billion trade surplus in 2019, thanks to furniture exports to 180 countries.