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Industry Talk

Turkish textiles set sights on US market

The second ‘i of the World’ exhibition is set to take place at New York’s InterContinental Hotel on 28th and 29th September.

28th September 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  New York

Knitted Outerwear, Intimate Apparel

Turkish textile manufacturers will have a chance to showcase their products at the second ‘i of the World’ exhibition, set to open this week in New York City. Organized by the Istanbul Textiles and Raw Materials Exporters Association (İTHİB), the event is expected to draw a number of leading US apparel producers, designers and distributors.

In hopes of raising their share of the US textiles market, the representatives of 28 Turkish textiles firms are expected to attend the event. “Every year, the US imports $43 billion worth of textiles, making it the world’s largest textiles market,” İTHİB President Ahmet Öksüz says. “Turkey, meanwhile, represents the world’s fifth largest exporter of textiles, and the second largest exporter to the EU.”

According to Öksüz, Turkey’s share of the global textiles market stood at 3% last year, but accounted for only 1.6% of the total US market. “Turkey's formidable production capacity has the potential to realize a much larger share of textile imports to the US,” he says.

Despite the pandemic, Turkish textiles exports to the US rose by 8% in 2020 to reach an all-time high of $628 million

“Textiles represent the main component of the $100-billion trade target between the two countries,” Öksüz adds. “The Turkish and US economies don’t compete with each other; rather, they complement one another, providing an excellent example of a win-win model.”

Last year, İTHİB organized the first ‘i of the World’ exhibition in New York, in cooperation with the Turkish Trade Ministry and the Turkish Exporters Assembly.

“Last year’s event was extremely productive for Turkish textiles,” Öksüz recalls. “Despite the pandemic, Turkish textiles exports to the US rose by 8% in 2020 to reach an all-time high of $628 million.” And during the first eight months of 2021, according to Öksüz, Turkish textiles exports to the US rose by 51% to reach $547 million, accounting for 2.7% of the total US textiles market.

“Next week’s exhibition will help us sustain these notable increases and achieve our ambitious bilateral trade targets,” Öksüz says. “We’re planning to carry out several more promotional activities and B2B projects in the US,” he adds. “We hope to eventually hold the exhibition in other parts of the US as well, with the aim of achieving $1 billion in exports by the end of this year.”

Hoping to realize $12 billion in global exports in 2021, Öksüz is quick to point out that Turkey’s textiles and apparel industry represents the county’s leading industry in terms of exports.

“Our textiles industry is a global leader in terms of integrated production capacity, qualified human resources, logistics, R&D investment and sustainability,” he says. “It has remained a safe harbour – despite the pandemic – for the supply chains of several internationally-recognized garment brands.”

Turkey, Öksüz concludes, “is rapidly approaching its medium-term goal of becoming one of the world’s top-three exporters of textiles.”

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