Industry and economy have always been seen as single entity, as economic growth is regularly measured in terms of industrial development. Industries are looked at as the hallmark of the primary development. It is indeed the degree of industrialisation that is considered the most appropriate indicator of a nation's development. Moreover, the proper strategy for growth has often been conceived as more or less a gradual shift from conventional sector to industry.
In countries like Turkey there has been astounding growth of textile sector and thus, industrialisation and commerce revolve round this sector more than any other sector. The role of textile and clothing industry has been reappraised and re-evaluated following its contribution to harmonious development and economic stability. The actual role of Turkish clothing sector has come to fore only in recent years, with Turkey becoming one of the major players in the global textile and clothing industry.
As of today, Turkey ranks eighth in overall global cotton production and fourth in world cotton consumption. The country also ranks third in organic cotton production, only after India and Syria. With an estimated share of 3.4 percent, the Turkish clothing industry stands as the seventh largest supplier in the world and the third largest supplier to the European Union. Considering the overall textile sector including clothing, upholstery, et al Turkey is among the world's top ten exporters of textile and second largest supplier to European Union.
The significance of textile and clothing sector multiplies considering it plays a substantial role in stabilising the country's economy. The textile and clothing sectors hold approximately seven percent of the GDP and these sectors also contributed approximately 18.3 percent in total export volume in preceding year. As per statistics released by the Social Security Institution, the country has more than 52,000 textile and clothing companies giving employment to more than 918,000 people.
With changing times, the Turkish textile and clothing industry has also shifted its focus from low value added commodities to high value added manufactured items and fashionable clothing items. The biggest advantages that Turkey has over other countries is that it has a reasonably qualified and educated work force, competitive design capacity, updated know-how, good investment in technology, adaptable production capacity, world class quality and priority to health and environment.
The Turkish textile and clothing sector plays a promising role in meeting the high standards set by global trade community, and it has so far survived the cut throat competition in international markets by providing high quality and a wide range of textile products.
The country's competitiveness is evident from the fact that even after the expiry of the global textile quota system in 2004, the country has managed to raise its export share in textile and clothing sector. The total exports of clothes stood at US $ 15 billion in the financial year 2013-2014. Around 65 percent of total production of the clothing sector is exported by Turkey. The cotton clothing denotes 80 percent of the exports.