The EU is the most important market for Turkeyâ€™s clothing exports but currently Turkish ready-to-wear exporters are under pressure from their competitors in the EU market, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. According to Hadi Karasu, the new President of Turkey Clothing Manufacturers' Association (TGSD), iIf no measures are taken, their power can be lost in the near future.
Turkey has all the values needed to become a leader in apparel n the world. Out goal is to translate this power into gains that would boost their countryâ€™s economy and industry.
In 2017 Turkey exported clothing worth US$ 12,2 billion to the EU, which was 71.4% of Turkeyâ€™s total clothing exports. Main markets among the members of the EU were Germany and the UK.
In 2017, exports to Germany increased by 1.9% to US$ 3.2 billion, while exports to Spain increased by 19.8% to US$ 2.1 billion and exports to the UK decreased by 3.4% to US$ 2 billion. The Netherlands was in fourth place with an export value of US$ 861 million, and France in fifth place with US$ 843.9 million.
Throughout the year, knitted clothing and accessories were the most exported product groups. Knitwear exports declined by 0.1% to US$ 8.9 billion in 2017 compared to 2016. Meanwhile, exports of the second largest group, woven apparel goods and accessories, rose by 0.4% to US$ 6 billion. Exports of other ready-made goods including home textile products, increased by 3% to US$ 2 billion.
Turkeyâ€™s place among the countries that the EUâ€™s imports come from is in the third place. They invite the Turkish political authority to work together on new projects that will direct, brand and support Turkish apparel producers. EUâ€™s perception of Pakistan and Bangladesh is a big threat for Turkey.
They make 74 percent of their apparel exports to EU member countries. It is very important for them to protect their position in the EU. Increasing close contacts with European countries, especially Germany, is a priority in their 2018 targets. Besides this, US market should be an important target for them. Entering this market provides a great opening in numerical terms.
Turkey have lost their place among the countries that the EU imports into the third place. They provide about 7-8% of supply behind China and Bangladesh. Bangladesh and Pakistan are positioned as cheap labour power countries and are supported by the EU and the US. They will guide and lead the Turkish apparel industry with the right strategies, using new technologies; to increase the value added higher branded and technical product exports.
The ready-to-wear sector grew by 2% in real terms in 2017. In 2017, there has been no change in exports. The ready-to-wear sector produced approximately US$ 40 billion worth of products in 2017. Out of these, US$ 17 billion were exported. Marked exports can reach US$ 40-50 per kg, while unbranded products are at US$ 20 per kg.
The growth in the sector originated only from the domestic market, which grew by 4% in real terms in 2017. In 2018, the garment sector is expected to grow by 3-4% in real terms. It is predicted that exports will increase again in 2018.
After that, they need to decide which of their firms can compete with Chinese large-scale producers for fashion markets like Italy, and which ones should focus on developing technical products, like Germany and the Netherlands. The domestic market will also grow by 5-6% in real terms. Industrial production will grow by 3-4%.
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