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Textile, apparel and leather sector in Turkey and the Aegean Region

Sabri Ünlütürk Agean Exporters’ Association Coordinator PresidentSabri Ünlütürk- Agean Exporters’ Association Coordinator President

Despite the difficulties and uncertainties experienced in the world and in our country’s economy, despite the fact that our exports are below their current potential, our exports rose to a positive momentum. We owe this to strategies for a strong economy and high export rates.

According to the global trade data published by the World Trade Organization, There is a 2.6 percent contraction in global trade in 2016. Despite all the difficulties, Turkey’s exports in 2016 are a total of 142.6 billion dollars with a decrease of 1.2 percent.


The total exports from our Association in 2016 increased by 4 percent compared to the previous year and amounted to 11 billion dollars. Despite cyclical reasons, we are pleased that our goals have been maintained, and we see that we are on the right track for the activities and achievements we have completed.

While the world economy is lagging behind in the first half of 2017, expectations on the global economic process continue to be on a positive note.

The World Bank said in its June Global Economic Outlook report that although global economic activity has recently been fragile, the overall recovery trend continues.

Even though there are positive views on global growth momentum, it is important to assert that protectionist policies, attempts to disrupt international co-operation and the increasing financial fragility are concepts that are worthy of our focus.

Textiles garments and leather are among the most important sectors in our country and we carry out extensive work within this sector. We are on the right track on achieving our goals by increasing our activities in the region and abroad.

Textile exports, which followed a volatile course throughout the year, amounted to 9.8 billion dollars in 2016, while exports from our Association amounted to 212 million dollars. The textile and raw materials sector’s share in the overall export rate was 6.9 percent.

Textiles and raw materials from our Association in July of 2017 increased by 50 percent to 19 million 233 thousand dollars compared to the previous turnover.

We are working hard to export more high-priced products in our country by developing new technologies in textile production. One of the most exciting work that we have done in this area is to establish TEKSMER. Our goal is to make sure that as many members as possible benefit from the work TEKSMER has done.

We are also striving to create sustainable and innovative policies regarding the search for new markets and the increase our share in existing markets.

When we look at the apparel and apparel sector, we are proud to be one of the three largest suppliers in Europe.

The apparel and ready-to-wear sector was the second sector with the highest share of 10.7 percent in the January-June period of 2017 after the automotive sector.

Aegean Apparel and Apparel Exporters Association had the largest amount of exports in 2016 with 1 billion 226 million dollars worth of exportation within the EIB.

In the January – June period of 2017, the Aegean Region in Turkey managed to maintain its strength and position with a share of 13.2 percent in total apparel and apparel exports.

We are pleased to see that R&D in the ready-to-wear sector and our efforts focused on design is beginning to bear fruit due to a sustainable policy.

Leather and leather goods are again one of the important sectors in terms of exportation in Turkey. The leather sector has had a growing place in our country’s economy since the 1970’s.

Especially in the last 20 years, it has been developing rapidly and exporting leather products at high prices by using the raw material resources of Turkey as well as domestic raw materials.

In the sector, which exported 1 billion 388 million dollars in 2016, our Association reached an export level of 119 million 221 thousand dollars and footwear exportation, which is one of the main products of the sector, came at the top of the list for the first time.

In July of 2017, exports increased by 34 percent in comparison to the same period of the previous year and exports amounted to 12.9 million USD.

Aegean Textile and Raw Materials Exporters’ Association 1940, Aegean Ready Wear and Apparel Exporters Association 1978, Aegean Leather and Leather Products Association has been serving our members, our region and our country since 1991.

I am pleased to be able to express that these three important alliance’s efforts are always aimed at providing better service, with careful monitoring of overseas developments, taking into account the expectations of the industry and its members.

We have left behind the first half of the year in a generally positive note and I sincerely hope that the second half will be more productive and successful in terms of all sectors for our members and our country’s exports.



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