Mr Negrin, as TGSD recently celebrated its 35th anniversary, Fibre2fashion extends compliments. Shall we proceed the talk with a word from you on significance the garment sector enjoys in the nation’s economy?
Thanks. Garment sector is the first ranking sector in the employment arena. Our textile and garment industry also ranks second in the export (15 billion dollar and 12% share). It is the biggest export share in global market (4%) among manufacturing sectors, and is fourth ranking in the industrial production.
So, thereby, in turn what role is entrusted to TGSD towards such a vital economy driver?
TGSD monitors and analyses local and global developments and conditions. We prepare prediction works viz (Horizon 2015). TGSD also drives the sector’s competitive areas, as well as work to bring in the goverment’s support and incentives.
Can you also tell us about the scenario that prevails in Turkish garment industry currently?
Turkish garment industry is on growth track in terms of higher value added products, fast production and delivery. The sector has made itself capable to cater smaller orders for fast fashion, creating own brands, and last but not least- it is expanding retail market share.
That sounds good. It shows the sector is getting hands on expertise. Kindly tell us, about the activities that your association is undertaking on the work force training and skill-polishing front?
Our association is organizing seminars and trainings from time to time for workforce. For example- we organised seminars including topics viz Supply Chain Management and Tax-System. Also we organised a training for pattern processes.
On that note, may we also know in details about the benefits that your member companies enjoy?
Since its foundation TGSD has been conducting many activities for development and progress of apparel and textile sectors, carrying out international lobbying for the sector to be on top rank in the world platform, developing solutions for problems and working for apparel manufacturing to proceed from being subcontractor to own brand, while it has aims to make Anatolia the production centre and Istanbul one of the most important fashion centres.
TGSD continues its presence in the Turkish clothing sector by successful representation abroad in international organizations. TGSD became a member of International Apparel Federation, IAF in 1988. TGSD took its place in the IAF Board in 1990; Hasan Arat became the IAF president in 1996, followed by Umut Oran in 2003. 12th and 19th IAF World Apparel Conventions were organized by TGSD and held in Istanbul.
TGSD became a full member of EURATEX, European Textile and Apparel Federation which brings the European textile and clothing industries together under a single roof, on 6 June 1997. This membership has enabled Turkish clothing industrialists’ rights to be discussed on the same table as European industrialists and has completed the integration process with European Economic Cooperation.
Talking about policies; Turkey, in January initiated a safeguard investigation on imports of textiles and apparel. With another provisional duty that is heard to be imposed 22 July onwards, will not the Turkish government have put in place excess of new restrictive trade measures like some other G20 countries viz India, Russia, Argentina, and thus feeding fear that protectionism following recent global crisis may gain momentum?
Current account deficit is increasing rapidly. Goverment and Central Bank has taken measures to curb the current account deficit. Many industries are under risk against cheaper Asian products. Therefore goverment protects the fragile sectors like the textile and apparel. It is not protectionism, it aims to prevent the Asian-dumping affecting our sectors.
In your comments earlier you have mentioned about ‘Horizon 2015’ . What is it all about?
It is prediction Works. Its main goal manages the transformation of Turksih Garment sector on Transformation points viz; from price based supplying to quality based supplying; become qualified suppliers; produce higher value added garments; establishing Istanbul as a regional fashion and shopping hub; creating own retail brands and expanding organized retail market; move the production transplants and clusters from developed cities (Istanbul) to Anatolia cities in which there be more comfort production costs.
Some years back, your association has also introduced ‘Bridges of Fashion Istanbul’. With thanks for your comments , let us conclude the talk with your note on this trade-fair activity shaping up?
On 5th and 6th of May 2011 we organised the 4th Istanbul Fashion Apparel Conference at the Haliç Congress Centre which was opened by the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The conference was attended by 1,500 participants, and 3,000 bilateral B2B talks were held during the event. Attendees to our conference are increasing year on year.
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 Fibre2Fashion.com.