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Turkish textile exporters eye Africa after Russian sanctions

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-12-16 11:50:00 – Turkey

After a Russian jet was shot down along the Syrian border on November 24 2015, Russia has imposed economic sanctions on Turkey.

Moscow has banned the import of some Turkish goods, imposed restrictions on travel, and plans to stop some Turkish companies doing business in Russia.

Turkey's ready-to-wear exporters, who have been affected by the Moscow sanctions, eye new markets in Africa to compensate the Russian losses in textile.

Hikmet Tanriverdi, head of the Istanbul Ready-Made Garment Exporters' Association (IHKIB), said that the Russian sanctions caused several risks for both Turkish and Russian economies as the two countries have strong economic ties in such sectors as energy, food, and tourism, alongside the textile sector.

“Our textile export numbers with Russia have been already in decline for two years due to the falling ruble and the Ukraine crisis. We were planning to boost the textile export in 2016, but the Russian jet crisis has spiked our plans,” Tanriverdi said.

Turkish textile manufacturers are working to diversify their client base in the hopes of getting some relief from market-share losses in Russia.

After growing 8 percent in 2014, Turkey’s ready-to-wear textile exports dropped by 10 percent in the first 10 months of 2015, mirroring overall Turkish exports, which declined 8 percent. Russia is a lucrative market for Turkey with $5 billion in exports annually.

“Until the political situation between Turkey and Russia clears up, we have decided to set new strategies to direct the textile exports (originally destined for) Russia to the African market,” Tanrıverdi said.

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