Interview with Textiles Department

Textiles Department
Textiles Department
Prime Ministry Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade
Republic of Turkey
Republic of Turkey

What makes Turkey a leading trade fair / events organizer?

There are several reasons that make Turkey a leading trade organizer both at home and abroad.

•The economic arena is growing more and more complex by the day, competition is stiffening. In such a global environment to remain competitive, it is imperative for Turkish firms too, to have a global orientation and to monitor market trends around the world. Participation in international trade fairs (ITF) is a quick way to promote exports and to gain a global view. Owing to this crucial relationship between ITF participation and export performance, export support system has been an important element of Turkey’s foreign trade policy. Undersecretariat For Foreign Trade (UFT) has been supporting its exports by securing participation of companies in commercial Turkish Export Products Fairs, Sectoral Turkish Export Products Fairs and National Participation organizations realized abroad since 1995.

•Thus, the major aim of UFT at supporting Turkish firms to participate in ITF’s is to assist their marketing activities and encourage them to achieve an increasing trend in their exports. To some extent, expenditures of a firm, ranging from cost of transportation of exhibition goods to cost of booth rent are met by the UFT.

•Within the framework of the export strategy implemented by the UFT, in Overseas Fairs organized in countries which are specified as new or target Markets, a surcharge is granted to participant firms in the context of promotion system.

•Among a thousand of fairs organized abroad every year, UFT tends to select fairs organized in countries and industries which Turkey has a comparative advantage and is quite competitive. Because textile and apparel industry has a leading role in Turkey’s economy and foreign trade, textile and apparel industry fairs generally constitute an important part of the events participated by Turkish firms. In 2007, nearly 20% of the fairs organized abroad and participated by Turkish firms were related to this industry. Turkish firms participate in these fairs under the effective organizations and strong promotion campaigns of fair organizer firms, which are authorised by UFT on the basis of their professional marketing qualities.

•Expenditures generated in the course of textile, apparel or fashion fair organizations realized by the organizers for the purpose of promotion activities (especially the fashion shows) which make the organizations even more influential, included within the scope of support procedures.

•Apart from supporting participation in overseas fairs, UFT attaches utmost importance to strengthen domestic ‘textile and apparel industry fairs’ and make them known abroad through “Buyer Mission Programs”, in order to contribute to the exporters’ international marketing efforts. Among many others, “International Fashion Fair”, “Texgate”, “Ev Teks” etc. are successful Turkish organizations which has achieved international reputation.

•Finally, the global trend shows that in the medium term the venue of fairs will move to Eastern regions of the world. In ‘The List of 2007 Fairs’ of Union of International Fairs (UFI) and Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), there are more than 100 fairs organized both in Turkey and abroad by Turkish organizers. This fact, alone, is a strong proof that Turkey, with her unique geo-political location and high quality products, successful exports performance and competitiveness in various industries is a significant candidate to be the center of international fairs.

•Turkey, through its organizers and participating firms is an important member of international fair organizations. In the very core of this fact lies the cooperation between public and private sectors, which are trying to increase the quality and effectiveness of fair industry as a whole.

How do you foresee Turkey’s progress in textile & garments in the next 2-3 years?

Turkish textile industry has newly established, modern, integrated and plants, comprising spinning, weaving, dyeing, printing and finishing capacity. On the other hand, together with the young qualified and growing population, clothing industry has the ability to adopt new fashion and to meet buyers’ preferences from all over the world. It has various advantages including diversified production line from basic items to fashion products, creating its own style fashionable and quality products with brand names. Considering that almost 80% of Turkish clothing industry is composed of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), it enables the industry to be flexible under fluctuating conditions in domestic and foreign markets.

Besides, relatively reasonable production inputs and its close geographical location to, not only the largest importer of both textiles and clothing –the EU-, but also its neighboring markets such as Russia, Central Asia and Middle East, make Turkey a leading exporter of textiles and clothing in the global context.

The year 2005 has introduced a significant change in global trade regarding textiles and clothing industry. With the elimination of quotas, some countries were afraid of suffering from cheap products that will rapidly flow in their domestic markets from low cost countries, and some were unhappy with the situation of losing their special access to the leading buyers (European Union-EU and United States of America-USA) and facing increased competition. In this context, the very important issue for some developing countries that are facing severe competitiveness in textile and clothing arising from Asia, was to develop higher value-added production capabilities, which required a strong determination in scrutinizing policies by the governments.

In that new era, Turkey has performed well, with its above-mentioned qualifications, skills, long-term experience and favorable geographical location.

Furthermore, Turkey has generated some policies by concentrating on a structural transformation based on high value added products, branding, relocation of the clothing industry and finally, on clustering models. Consequently, Turkish textile and clothing sector will be perpetuating its strength and sustainable competitiveness in the global textile and clothing trade for the next decades.

Published on: 28/01/2008

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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