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Turkey’s RMG export to earn $20 in 2021 as EU eyes more imports

According to Mustafa Gültepe, Head of the Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB) Turkey’s readymade garment (RMG) export to earn $20 in 2021, as European markets looking for more imports from Turkey as Turkey is in close vicinity to Europe.

Figure: RMG workers are seen at a textile factory in the eastern province of Van, Turkey, Nov. 25, 2021. Courtesy: AA Photo

Gültepe opined that “European brands are looking at Turkey due to problems in the supply chain, increased freight and logistics costs.”

“We are receiving intense orders. The RMG sector will break a record this year with more than $20 billion worth of exports, noting over 20% Y-o-Y swell.”

Gültepe told, “We reached $18.4 billion in 11 months. We will renew our export record of $18.7 billion set in 2014 by raising it to over $20 billion this year. We will contribute $18 billion to closing our country’s current account deficit.”


He was optimistic that if problems such as access to raw materials and financing for new investments are overcome, the sector will witness a 15% increase next year and looked to attain sales worth around $23 billion.

The recent interruptions due to the pandemic in the global economy, including in supply chains across continents, have encouraged many international fashion retailers to contemplate turning away from low-cost Asian manufacturing hubs. And shifting their production to Turkey.

As Turkey straddles Europe and the Middle East, according to Gültepe it is well placed to benefit from changes to global supply chains and its strategic location.

“There is a major opportunity ahead for Turkey and our ready-to-wear sector, given the disruptions in the supply chains and the fact that global brands are preferring to purchase from nearby regions,” Gültepe added.

Gultepe also highlighted that while the IHKIB had organized only four virtual trade events in 2020, it conducted two in-person and six virtual trade events in January-July 2021.

In these events, Turkish exporters gathered with buyers from several countries including Germany, Spain, the UK, and the US, Gultepe said.

He is optimistic that Turkey will be able to achieve exports of $33 billion soon.

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