Apparel Industry in Turkey
As a separate sector, the Turkish clothing industry made important advances during the '80's. It became one of the locomotive sectors of the Turkish economy. The roots of the woven textile industry, upon which structure the clothing industry arose, go back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. Because the raw materials of woven textiles were produced in Anatolia, with cotton as the leading product, both in the Ottoman Era and in the modern Republic of Turkey, the woven textile industry has become Turkey's fastest developing sector.
In the '80's, the world economy, the Turkish economy and the ready made clothes sector entered an accelerated transitory period of major advancement. The Turkish economy evolved from an import substitution accumulation model, open only to domestic markets in the 1960's to an industrialising economy able to export its own products in the 1980's. During the same period, a rising trend of globalization in the world economy, raised the level of international integration.
Trends of the Turkish Apparel Industry, from 1980 to 1998:
After passing through a period of crucial transition in 1980, the path of the Turkish economy was open for development of its exports. Due to its established infrastructure, the apparel industry was able to gain marked advantage from the opportunities on offer. From 1980 to the end of 1997 Turkish clothing exports rose to ten times its previous value and its share of world clothing exports rose from 0.3 to appr. 4%.
Turkish Apparel Export's Share of World Exports:
Year Billion Dollars % 1980 0,7 0,3 1997 7,3 3,9
During its period of rapid development, the apparel industry, rather than becoming a sector satisfied with the status quo, became a sector which develops new resources and creates opportunities. In the past 18 years, the apparel industry has not only increased the economy's foreign currency input by its exports, but has also has been a sector which has ensured the highest rate of employment coming from the behind of the agricultural sector. Today, the apparel industry employs two million people. Throughout both the '80's and '90's, it has been the industrial sector with the highest trend of investment.
Strengths of the Turkish Clothing Industry
Turkey is a very important cotton country, which is an advantage in raw materials, for the clothing industry.
The monetary policies and the banking systems are uniform throughout the country.
Work discipline, techniques, rules and regulations are also uniform in every region.
The clothing industry has achieved international integration with free market rules.
With the integrated textile firms, who retain high capacity and new technology, the clothing industry is also in an advantageous position with its inputs such as yarn-fabric.
The Turkish clothing industry enjoys the advantage of low labour costs, while maintaining best quality, compared to developed countries.
The Turkish clothing industry has made the transition from producing basic products with low added value to producing high quality products with high added value. The share of subcontracting in exports is 5%.
The established production centres – the Marmara region, mainly around Istanbul - are at present specializing in the production of quality products leaving the production of basic products to Anatolia, thus cretaing opportunities for the clothing industry throughout the country.
Buyers coming to Turkey have the opportunity of selecting from a wide range of products.
The Turkish clothing industry is one of the sectors that takes full advantage of the Customs Union with the EU.
Turkey’s location is a great advantage. There is a population of 600 million people living in the surroundings of Turkey, at a distance of only two hours. Buyers coming from Europe are able to do their business in only one day.
Information provided by Competitive Advantage of Turkey. You can learn more at http://www.competitiveturkey.org
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