Türkiysh experts from relevant fields may assist Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry
Bangladesh and Türkiye–the gateway between Europe and Asia–enjoy a friendly relationship deeply rooted in their historical ties, cultural proximity, and religious affinity. Also, the two countries have good trade partnerships, and Bangladesh is a key trade partner for Türkiye in Textile and clothing.
H.E. Mustafa Osman Turan, Türkiye Ambassador to Bangladesh, is a veteran with more than 30 years of diplomatic experience. After completing his studies in international relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and a Master’s degree in European politics from the College of Europe in Bruges – in 1992, Osman Turan joined Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye.
As a career diplomat, he worked in Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Austria, Afghanistan and Belgium. Before being appointed as Türkiysh Ambassador to Bangladesh, he was based in Ankara as Deputy Director General for Multilateral Economic Affairs.
Textile Today team visited Türkiysh embassy in the Dhaka’s Baridhara diplomatic zone on 1 June morning and had a conversation with H.E. Mustafa Osman Turan where he shared scopes of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Türkiye; Türkiysh excellence in textile and apparel production and the ways to exchange their expertise with Bangladesh; and some other important issues.
Here are the key parts of the discussion for Textile Today readers.
Textile Today: How do you see the economic growth of Türkiye and what is your observation regarding the contribution of the textile and apparel industry in Turkish economy?
Mustafa Osman Turan: According to World Bank, Türkiye’s GDP was $720 billon US dollars in 2020 and it is estimated that Türkiye’s GDP was around $800 billion US dollars in the year 2021. Türkiye with a vibrant economy is a lucrative destination for foreign direct investment and due to geo location Türkiye is treated as the business and commercial hub for the EU, Middle East and Middle Asia. The economy of Türkiye shows great potential and growth for the coming future. In 2021, Türkiye’s export reached $225.4 billion US dollars with an increase of 32,9% compared to 2020. Textile and appeal sector hold a significant portion in Turkish economy, we had $33.1 billion US dollars worth textile and readymade garments export in 2021 which is 15% of the total export. From export figures, the contribution of textile and apparel industry and its importance to the economy of Türkiye can be clearly seen.
Textile Today: The Bangladesh apparel industry is the second-largest in the world. What are the opportunities you see for Türkiye in bilateral trade with Bangladesh in terms of raw material (fiber, machines, chemical) export?
Mustafa Osman Turan: Türkiye has been a reliable partner in terms of raw material export to Bangladesh for the readymade garments and textile industry. Bangladeshi garments and textile producers are able to realize Turkish cotton, chemical, yarn, fabric textile machineries and accessories are good in terms of quality and affordability. I would encourage more garments and textile industries to try out Turkish raw material and see for themselves. In terms of opportunities, I have information that some textile chemical producers from Türkiye are planning on establishing plants here which would boost Bangladesh’s FDI. Covid issue however has slowed this process.
Textile Today: Global buyers are sourcing away from China. Has it created any opportunity for Türkiye to enhance trade with Bangladesh? What is the vision of Türkiye to increase tie between the two nations?
Mustafa Osman Turan: Bangladesh’s import from Türkiye in terms of goods and raw material is trending upwards. Türkiye’s vision is to double the bilateral trade volume with Bangladesh.
Textile Today: According to the Export Promotion Bureau data, after the year 2017, the apparel export to Türkiye from Bangladesh is gradually declining. What is your observation regarding this export dropping?
Mustafa Osman Turan: Bangladesh’s apparel export to Türkiye is in a gradual decline due to the fact that Türkiye has taken some measures to safeguard country’s own apparel industry as its importance for Turkish economy has been mentioned already earlier.
Textile Today: Türkiye is one of the world’s most important textile and apparel manufacturing countries which has great expertise in the industry, specially producing high value added products. Also in manpower efficiency. How this expertise can be exchanged with Bangladesh?
Mustafa Osman Turan: Turkish machinery is popular among Bangladeshi readymade garments and textile producers. Türkiye is also experienced in high value products as you are already aware. My recommendation to manufacturers in Bangladesh is to visit Turkish machinery producers who are capable of supplying high value product lines and to employ Turkish experts from the relevant fields who would help the industry by training and helping the local workforce.
Textile Today: In the aftermath of Covid, European companies prefer near-shoring and Türkiye has been a large beneficiary of this shift in trade flows. How is Türkiye utilizing this opportunities? And how is the country overcoming the challenges it facing from relatively more cost-effective nations like Vietnam and Bangladesh?
Mustafa Osman Turan: Türkiye has been a leading producer of high value and sophisticated products which are exported to EU and western destinations. Given the current position of export of such goods, Türkiye does not really face much competition from the mentioned nations. However, there is competition from other counties and Türkiye’s approach is to regularly update and upgrade in terms of technology to stay relevant in the competition.