Interview with Adil Nalbant

Adil Nalbant
Adil Nalbant

ITM will offer Turkish industrialists chance on delayed investments
The Textile Machine and Accessory Industrialists' Association (Tekstil Makina ve Aksesuar Sanayicileri Dernegi, TEMSAD), was founded in 1998 to ensure that the Turkish textile machinery sector is represented in the best possible way on international platforms and find solutions to increase exports. TEMSAD also supports the globally recognised textile machinery fair-ITM. The president of the association, Adil Nalbant, discloses the agenda for ITM 2018 and discusses the current challenges.

What is the size of the Turkish textile machinery market? What is the growth rate?

The year 2017 in retrospect was quite a booming period for the textile machinery sector in terms of exports. With export figures reaching $604 million, there was a jump of 17.7 per cent compared to 2016. On the other hand, import figures, which exceeded over $2 billion in 2014, dropped to $1.4 billion in 2017. The top three countries (for our exports) were the UK, Germany and Bangladesh. In particular, our exports to Bangladesh have continued to rise as in the previous years, and in 2017, Bangladesh made it to the top three. The countries to which our exports saw the maximum growth were Iran, Uzbekistan, Egypt and Pakistan. Our members share close business relations with these regions. Our sector has boosted the country's exports every year. The export figures, which were $38 million in 2001, climbed to $604 million in 2017, which is indeed great news for our sector. Provided that this upward trend is long-lasting, it is our hope that we will outperform our 2023 target of $1 billion in exports.

What is the amount of textile machinery traded annually by Turkey? Which segment-spinning, knitting, weaving, cutting & stitching, processing-is the 'Made in Turkey' brand exporting the most?

Manufacturers of textile machinery and accessories strengthen their global position every day. This is evident in their ever-climbing export figures, venturing into new global markets, and producing diversified alternatives. We maintain a top position in dyeing-finishing machines. In this sector, the export figure is double that of imports. It had become feasible to promote our textile dyeing-finishing machineries as a globally-recognised brand. These machines are easily sold anywhere in the world. Besides, turnkey factories can also be structured. Our quality and price policy allow us to compete with all global brands. We can safely claim that with each year, our global position will be further cemented.

What are your expectations from ITM 2018? What are the key agendas set for ITM this year?

Over the last three years, the economic and political situation led to decreased investments in Turkey, and caused delays. This adversely impacted the most crucial sector of Turkey-textiles. Hence, investments in textiles can be viewed as an opportunity for ITM. ITM is a valuable opportunity not only for the Turkish textiles Industry, but also for Turkey's neighbours Iran, Uzbekistan, Egypt and others like India, Pakistan and Indonesia since this fair is the second largest such fair after ITMA. 

Western companies are even more interested in ITM, and this is because Turkey is the biggest market for them. As regards yarn, weaving and technical textile machineries, Turkey is a critical market for western countries. Hence, our neighbours-those who want to invest in the latest technology-value ITM as an opportunity not to miss, and commission visitors and purchasing teams to ITM. Thus, two vital distinctions emerge for the ITM this year. One is offering a chance to actualise delayed investments for Turkish industrialists, and the second is being an easily-accessible fair for neighbouring countries investing in textile machinery. Participants from neighbouring countries do not have to encounter visa issues, unlike while participating in ITMA. That is why ITM is more attractive for these countries.

What are the major challenges curbing the growth of Turkey's textile machinery sector?

The biggest challenge is about not being a brand yet. Textile industrialists seek ready machinery to enable a quick supply of investments and be part of global competition. If we take a stock of items that Turkey imports, it is evident that western companies are the dominant manufacturers of certain items. Japan and South Korea are big players in knitting machineries, but the truth is that with their current technologies, western companies still dominate. Not only with technologies or marketing networks, but with respect to their financial means too, western companies stand out.  Once a western company enters Turkey or countries like Turkey, they bring in their financial packages as well. Hence, while we cannot offer 2-3 years of delay (for payments), western companies can offer 5-7 years. This is a critical issue for textile investors. Hence, purchasing ready machines from western producers when combined with the financial offers becomes more alluring for buyers. Since manufacturers can hardly overcome this challenge, they fail to manufacture the in-demand weaving and yarn machineries. If machinery producers wait patiently and government funds are offered as a backup, production can soar. Turkish machinery manufacturers and engineering skills are good enough to design these machineries.

The biggest challenge that blocks us is the failure of being a brand and enjoying global recognition. An example from weaving machinery: in order for a Turkish company to be able to compete with a globally-renowned weaving machinery brand (in relation to both marketing and recognition), they are supposed to manufacture this machinery in the market and wait patiently at least for 4-5 years.

Are Turkey's textile machinery players adopting technologies like IoT and AI? What are your thoughts on Industry 4.0? Where do textile machinery manufacturers stand?

Doubtless to say… Industry 4.0 is one of the greatest innovations of the current age. Western countries are engaged in major investments and developments in this field. Likewise, in Turkey too, attempts to raise awareness on Industry 4.0 are being implemented, but as far as applications are concerned, it would not be correct to claim that we have managed to reach that target level. (HO)
Published on: 10/04/2018

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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